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^"^'1 ^ lo(o_ 






IN 1846. 






IN 1846. 






VOL. I. 





Frederick Shoberl, Junior, Printer to Hie Boyal Highneee Prince Albert 
51« Rapert Street, Haymarket, London. 


Having returned to Canada, in the course 
of his military duties, the Author has been 
induced to resume his pen, in order to lay 
before his countrymen further information 
relative to this most important of our colonial 

If the British public only receive the present 
work as kindly as his former one, ^^ Canada 
in 1841," the labours of a tedious Canadian 
winter or two will be amply repaid ; and, if 
one emigrant family derive useful experience 
from its perusal, the. Author's gratification 
will be enhanced; for there is no class of 
people so grossly deceived in their notions of 
the New World as the English, and more 
particularly the Irish emigrants to Canada. 

R. H. B. 

Kingston, Canada West^ 
March, 1846. 





Emigrants and Immigration . . Page 1 


The Emigrant and his Prospects . 46 


A Journey to the Westward 90 

The French Canadian . . . 127 

Fenetanguishene — The Nipissang Cannibals, and a 
Friendly Brother in the Wilderness . . 146 


Barrie and Big Trees — A new Capital of a new District — 

Nature's Canal — ^The Devil's Elbow — Macadamization and 

Mud — Richmond Hill without the Lass — The Rebellion 

and the Radicals — Blue Hill and Bricks . 172 


Toronto and tlie Transit — ^The Ice and its innovations — 
Siege and Storm of a Fortalice by the Ice-king — ^Newark, 
or Niagarar-^Flags, big and little— Yiews of American and 
of English Institutions — Blacklegs and Races— Colonial 
high life— -Youth very yonng . . 1^5 

The old Canadian Coach — Jonathan and John Bull pas* 
sengers — ''That Gentleman** — ^Beautiful River, beautiful 
drive— Brock's Monument — Queenston — ^Bar and Pulpit — 
Trotting horse Railroad — ^Awful accident — ^The Falls once 
more— Speculation — Water Privilege — Barbarism — ^Mu- 
seum — ^Loafers — ^Tulip-trees — Rattlesnakes — The Burning 
Spring— Setting fire to Niagara — ^A charitable Woman 
—The Nigger*s Parrot — John Bull is a Yankee— Political 
Courtship— Lund7*s Lane Heroine— Welland Canal 217 

The Great Fresh- water Seas of Canada 266 




IN 1846. 


Emigrants and Immigration. 

Very surprising it seems to assert that the 
Mother Country knows very little about the 
finest colony which she possesses — ^and that 
an enlightened people emigrate from sober, 
sp^culatiTe England, sedate and calculating 
Scotland, and trusting, unreflective Ireland,, 
absolutely and . wholly ignorant of the total 
change of life to which they must necessarily 
submit in their adopted home. 

I recollect an old story, that an old gunner, 
in an old-fashioned, three-cornered cocked 

VOL. I. B 


hat, who was my favourite playfellow as a 
child, used to tell, about the way in which 
recruits were obtained for the Royal Artil- 

The recruiting sergeant was in those days 
dressed much finer than any field-marshal 
of this degenerate, railway era ; in fact, the 
Horse Guards always turned out to the ser- 
geant-major of the Royal Military Academy 
of Woolwich, when that functionary went 
periodically to the Golden Cross, Charing 
Cross, to receive and escort the young gentle- 
men cadets from Marlow College, who were 
abandoning the red coat and drill of the foot- 
soldier to become neophytes in the art and 
mystery of great gunnery and sapping. 

'* The way they recruited was thus," said 
the bombadier. '^ The gallant sergeant, be- 
dizened in copper lace from the crown of his 
head to the sole of his foot, and with a swagger 
which no modem drum-major has ever pre- 
sumed to attempt, addressed a crowd of coun- 
try bumpkins, 

" * Don*t listen to those gentlemen in red; 


their sarvice is one which no man who has 
brains will ever think of — ^footing it over the 
univarsal world ; they have usually been called 
by us the flatfoots. They uses the rausquet 
onlj, and have hands like feet, and feet like 

" * Mind me, gentlemen, the royal regiment 
of the Royal Artillery is a sarvice which no 
gentleman need be ashamed of. 

" * We fights with real powder and ball, the 
flatfoots fights with bird-shot. We knows the 
perry-ferry of the circumference of a round 
shot. Did you ever see a mortar ? Did you 
ever see a shell ? I will answer for it you 
never did, except the poticary's mortar, and 
the shell that mortar so often renders neces- 

" * Now, gentlemen, at the imperial city of 
Woolwich, in the Royal Arsenal, you may, if 
you join the Royal Artillery, you may see 
shells in earnest. Did you ever see a balloon? 
Yes ! Then the shells there are bigger than 
balloons, and are the largest hollow shot ever 
made — the French has nothing like them. 

B 2 


" * And the way we uses them ! We fires 
them out of the mortars into the enemy's 
towns, and stuffs them full of red sogers. 
Well, they bursts, and out comes the flatfoots, 
opens the gates, and lets the Royal Artillery 
in ; and then every man fills his sack with 
silver, and gold, and precious stones, after a 
leetle scrimmaging. 

** * Come along with me, my boys, and every 
one of you shall have a coat like mine, which 
was made out of the plunder ; and you shall 
have a horse to ride, and a carriage behind 
it ; and you shall see the glorious city of 
Woolwich, where the streets are paved with 
penny loaves, and drink is to be had for ask- 
ing/ " 

So it is with nine-tenths of the emigrants 
to Canada in these enlightened days ; so it is 
with the emigrants from old England, and 
from troubled Ireland, to the free and asto- 
nishing Union of the States of America and 
Texas, that conjoint luminary of the new go- 
ahead world of the West. 

Dissatisfied with home, with visionary ideas 


of EI Dorados, or starving amidst plenty, the 
poorer classes obtain no correct information. 
Beset generally with agents of companies, with 
agents of private enterprise, with reckless ad- 
venturers, with ignorant priests, or missionaries 
of the lowest stamp, with political agitators, 
and with miserable traitors to the land of 
their birth and breeding, the poor emigrant 
starts from the interior, where his ideas have 
never expanded beyond the weaver's loom or 
factory labour, the plough or the spade, the 
hod) the plane, or the trowel, and hastens 
with his wife and children to the nearest sea- 

There he finds no friend to receive and 
guide him, but rapacious agents ready to take 
every advantage of his ignorance, with an eye 
to his teanty purse. A host of captains, 
mates, arid sailors, eager to make up so many 
heads for the voyage, pack them aboard like 
sheep, and cross the Atlantic, either to New 
York or to Quebec, just as they have be^a 
able to entice a cargo to either port. Then 
come the horrors of a long voyage and short 


provisions, and high prices for stale salt junk 
and biscuit ; and, at the end, if illness has been 
on board, the quarantine, that most dreadful 
visitation of all — ^for hope deferred maketh 
the heart sick. 

From the first discovery of America, there 
has been a tendency to exaggeration about 
the resources and capabilities of that country 
—a magniloquence on its natural productions, 
which can be best exemplified by referring 
the reader to the fac-simile of the one in Sir 
Walter Raleigh's work on Guiana,^ now in 
the British Museum. Shakespeare had, no 
doubt, read Raleigh's fanciful description of 
" the men whose heads do grow beneath their 

^ Brevis et admiranda descriptio REGNI GVIAN^, 
AVRI abundantissimi, in AMERICA, sev novo orbe, sub 
linea .^uinoctilia siti : quod nuper admodum, Annis nuni- 
rum 1594, 1595, et 1596 per generosum Dominum 
Dr. GVALTHERVM RALEGH Equitem Anglum de- 
tectum est : paulo post jussa ejus duobus libellis compre- 
Gfiographicam adornavit, addita explicatione Belgico sermone 
scripta : Nunc vero in Latinum sermonem translata, et ex 
yariis authoribus hinc inde declarata. Noribergse. Impensis 


shoulders," &c. ; for he was thirty-four years 
of age when this print was published, only 
seventeen years before his death. 

So expansive a mind as Raleigh's un- 
doubtedly was, was not free from that uni- 
versal credulity which still reigns in the 
breasts of all men respecting matters with 
which they are not personally acquainted; 
and the glowing descriptions of Columbus and 
his followers respecting the rich Cathay and 
the Spice Islands of the Indies have had so 
permanent a hold upon the imagination, that 
even the best educated amongst us have, in 
their youth, galloped over Pampas, in search 
of visionary UspaUatas. Nor is it yet quite 
clear that the golden city of El Dorado is 
wholly fabulous, the region in which it was 
said to exist not having yet been penetrated 
by Science ; but it soon will be, for a steam- 
boat is to ply up the Maranon, and Peru and 
Europe are to be brought in contact, although 
the voyage down that mighty flood has 
hitherto been a labour of several months. 

The poor emigrant, for we must . return to 


him, lands at New York. .Sharks beset him 
in every direction, boarding-houses and grog- 
shops open their doors, and he is frequently 
obliged, from the loss of all his hard-earned 
money, to work out his existence either in 
that exclusively mercantile emporium, or to 
labour on any canal or railroad to which his 
kind new friends may think proper, Or most 
advantageous to themselves, to send him. If 
he escapes all these snares for the unwary, 
the chances are that, fancying himself now as 
great a man as the Duke of Leinster, O'Conr 
nell, the Lord Mayor of London, or the Pro* 
vest of Edinburgh, free and unshackled, 
gloriously free, he becomes entangled with a 
host of land-jobbers, and walks off to the 
weary West, there to encounter a life of un- 
remitting toil in the solitary forests, with an 
occasional visit from the ague, or the milk- 
fever, which so debilitates his frame, that, 
during the remainder of his wretched existence, 
he can expect but little enjoyment of the ma- 
norial rights appendant to a hundred acres of 
wild land. ' 


Let n6 emigrant embark for the United 
States unless he has a kind friend to guide 
and receive him there, and to point out to 
him th^ good and the evil; for the native 
race look upon all foreigners with a jealous 
eye, and particularly upon the Irish- 

The Germans make the best settlers in that 
country, perhaps because, not speftking Eng- 
lish, they cannot be so easily imposed upon 
by the crimps, and also because they seldom 
emigrate before they have arranged vrith their 
friends in America respecting the lands which 
they are to occupy, 

A society of British philanthropists has 
been established at New York to direct Bri- 
tish emigrants in theijr ultimate views ; but 
it may well be imagined tliat these gentlemen, 
who are chiefly engaged in trade, cannot de- 
scend to understand fully, or are constant 
witnesses of, the low tricks which are prac- 
tised to seduce the unwary ones. 

The emigrant to Canada is somewhat dif- 
ferently situated^ 

The Irish come out in shiploads every 

B 5 


season, and generally very indifferently pro- 
vided and without any definite object ; nay, 
to Buch an extent is this carried, that hun- 
dreds of young females venture out every 
year by themselves, to better their condition, 
which betterment usually ends in their reach- 
ing as far inland as Toronto, where, or at 
other ports on the lakes, they engage them- 
selves as domestics. 


When we consider that nearly 25,000 emi- 
grants leave the Mother Country every year 
for Canada alone, how important is it that 
they should be informed of every particular 
likely to increase their » comforts and to con- 
duce to their well-being ! This kind of ser- 
vice can be but partially rendered by the 
present publication, which, being intended for 
the general reader, cannot be given in a form 
likely to reach the class of emigrants who 
usually proceed to America otherwise than 
through the advice which the reader may, 
whenever it is in his power, kindly bestow 
upon them. But it will, I am persuaded, be 
extensively useful in that way, and also to 


the settler with a small capital who can afford 
to consult it. 

Learned dissertations upon colonization are 
useful only to the politician, and so much 
venality has prevailed among those who have 
thrust themselves forward in the cause of 
Canadian settlement, that the public become 
a little alarmed when they hear of a work 
expressly designed for the emigrant. 

The very best informed at home, and the 
haute noblesse f have been repeatedly taken in. 
Dinnerings and lionizing have been the order 
of the day for persons, who, in the colony, 
cut a very inferior figure. But this is natural, 
and in the end usually does no harm. It is 
natural that the colonist, who is a rara avis 
in England, should be considered a very extra- 
ordinary personage among men who seek for 
novelty in any shape; because those who 
lavish favours upon him at one time and 
eschew his presence afterwards are usually 
ignorant Qf the very history of which he is 
the type. It is like the standing joke of 
sendinpf out water-casks for the men-of-war 


built on the fresh-water seas of Canada, for 
there are plenty of rich folks at home who 
want only to be filled. 

The different sorts of people who emigrate 
from home to the United States or Canada, 
may be classed nnder several heads, like the 
travellers of Sterne; 

First, the inquisitive and restless, who leave 
a goodly inheritance or occupation behind 
them, because they have heard that Tom 
Smith or Mister Mac Grogan, very ordinary 
folks anywhere, have made a rapid fortune, 
which is indeed sometimes the case in the 
United States, though rather rare there for 
old countrymen, and is still more rare and 
unlikely in Canada, where large fortunes may 
be said to be unknown quantities. 

Settlers of this class usually fall to the 
ground very soon — ^if they settle in Canada, 
they become Radicals ; if they return from 
the States, they become Tories. 

The next class are your would-be aristo- 
cratic settlers, younger sons of younger sons, 
cousins of cousins, Union Barons, nephews' 


nephews of a Lord Mayor, or uiiproyided 
heirs in posse. 

These fancy they confer a sort of honour 
by selecting the colony as their final resting- 
place, and that a governor and his ministers 
have nothing in the world to think about but 
how they can provide for such important 
units. Hence they frequently end by placing 
themselves in direct opposition to the powers 
that be, or take very unwillingly to the la- 
bours of a farmer's life. Many of them, when 
they find that pretension is laughed at, par- 
ticularly if no talents accompany it, which is 
rarely or ever the case, for talent is modest 
and retiring in its essential nature, turn out 
violent Republicans or Radicals of the most 
furious calibre ; but the more modest portion 
work heartily at their farms, and frequently 

Another class is your private gentlemen's 
sons and decent young farmers from England, 
Ireland, or Scotland, who think before they 
leap, have connexions already established in 
Canada, and small capitals to commence 


with. These are the really valuable settlers : 
they go to Canada for land and living, and 
eschew the land and liberty system of the 
neighbouring nation. Wherever they settle, 
the country flourishes and becomes a second 
Britain in appearance, as may be observed in 
the London and western districts. 

It does not require a very lengthened ac- 
quaintance with Canada to form observations 
upon the characters of the immigrants^ as the 
Webster style of Dr. Johnson will have the 
word to be. 

The English franklin and the English 
peasant who come here usually weigh their 
allegiance a little before they make up their 
minds ; b^t, if tk^y liave been persuaded that 
Queen Victoria's reign is a " banefid domina^ 
tioriy^ they either go to the United States at 
once, or to those portions of Canada where 
sympathy with the Stars and Stripes is the 
order of the day.* 

^ That is, to those portions of the London and western 
district where American settlers abound, who have so ge- 
nerously repaid the fostering care which Governor Simcoe 


If they be Scotch Radicals, the most un- 
compromising and the most Utter of all poli- 
ticians, they seek Canada only with the ulti- 
mate hope of revolutionizing it 

But the latter are more than balanced by 
the respectable Scotch, who emigrate occa- 
sionally upon the same principles which ac- 
tuate the respectable portion of the English 
emigrants, and by the hardy Highlanders 
already settled in various parts of the colony, 
whose proverbial loyalty is proof against the 
arts of the demagogue. 

The great mass of emigrants may however 
be said to come from Ireland, and to consist 
of mechanics of the most inferior class, and of 
labourers. These are all impressed with the 
most absurd notions of the riches of America, 
and on landing at Quebec often refuse high 
wages with contempt, to seek the Cathay of 
their excited imaginations westward. 

originally extended to them. One of those rahid folks 
indebted to the British government, who kept an inn, pad* 
locked his pnmps lately when a regiment was marching 
through Woodstock in hot dusty weather, that the soldiers 
might not slake their thirst. 


If they be Orangemen, they defy the Pope 
aiid the devil as heartily in Canada as in 
Londonderry, and are loyal to the backbone* 

If they are Repealers, they come here sure 
of immediate wealth, to kick up a deuce of a 
row, for two shillings and sixpence currency 
is paid for a day's labour, which two shillings 
and sixpence was a hopeless week's fortune 
in Ireland ; and yet the Catholic Irish who 
have been long settled in the country are by 
no means the worst subjects in this Trans*^ 
Atlantic realm, as I can personally testify, 
having had the command of large bodies of 
them during the border troubles of 1837-8. 
They are all loyal and true. 

In the event of a war, the Catholic Irish, to 
a man — and what a formidable body it is m 
Canada and the United States ! — will be on the 
side of England. O'Connell has prophesied 
rightly there, for it is not in human nature to 
forget the wrongs which the Catholics have 
suffered for the past ten years in a country 
professing universal freedom and toleration. 

The Americans of the better classes with 


whom I have conversed admit this, but their 
dislike of the Irish is rooted and general 
among all the native race ; and they fear as 
well as mistrust them, because, in many of 
the largest cities, New York for one, the Irish 

- The Americans say, and so do the Cana- 
dians, that, for some years back, ^ince the 
repeal agitation at home, a few very igno* 
rant and very turbulent priests, of the lowest 
grade, have found their way across the 
Atlantic. I have travelled all over Canada, 
and lived many years in the country, and 
have been thrown among all classes, from my 
having, been connected with the militia. I 
never saw but one specimen of Irish hedge- 
priest, and therefore do not credit the asser- 
tion; this one came out last year, and a 
more furious bigot or a more republican 
ultra I never met with, at the same time 
that he was as ignorant as could be conceived. 
Such has not hitherto been the case with 
the Catholic priesthood of the Canadas. 
The French Canadian clergy are a body of 



pious, exemplaiy men, not perhaps shining 
in the galaxy of science, but unobtrusive, 
gentlemanly, and an honour to the soutane 
and chdstible. 

The priests from Ireland are not numerous, 
for the Irish chapels wer^, till very lately, 
generally presided over by Scotch mis- 
sionaries ; and I can safely say that, whether 
Irish or Scotch, the Catholic priesthood of 
Western Canada will not yield the palm to 
their Franco-Canadian brethren of the cross, 
and that loyalty is deeply inculcated by 
them. I have long and personally known 
and admired the late Bishop Mac Donell ; a 
worthier or a better man never existed. The 
highest and the lowest alike loved him. 

I saw him bending under the weight of 
years, passed in his ministry and in the de- 
fence of his adopted countiy, just before he 
left Canada, to lay his bones in bis natal 
soil, preside over the ceremony of placing the 
first stone of the Catholic seminary, for which 
he had given the ground and funds to the 
utmost of his ability* 


He was a large, venerable-looking man, 
unwieldy from the infirmities of age and a 
life of toil and trouble ; and the affecting and 
touching portion of the scene before us was 
to see him supported on his right and left by 
the arms of a Presbyterian colonel and a 
colonel of the Church of England. 

This is true Christianity, true charity — 
peace be to his soul ! — 

His successor was a Canadian, equally free 
from pretension and bigotry ; and he was suc- 
ceeded by an Irishman, whose mission is to heal 
the wounds of party and strife. He is living and 
in office ; I cannot, therefore, speak of him ; 
but, differing as an Englishman so widely as 
I do in religious tenets from his, I can freely 
assert that, if clergymen of every denomina- 
tion pursued the same course of brotherly 
love that he does, we should hear no more of 
the fierce and undying contention about sub- 
jects which should be covered with the veil 
of benevolence and humility. 

You cannot force a man to think as you 
do, to draw him into what you conceive to be 


the true path ; mildness and conciliation are 
much more likely to effect your object than 
the Emperor of China's yellow stick. The 
days of the Inquisition, of Judge JeflTeries, 
and of Claverhouse, are happily gone by; 
and .the artillery of man's wrath now vents 
its harmless thunders much in the same way 
as the thunders of the Vatican, or the recent 
f ulmination of the Archbishop of Paris against 
the author of the Wandering Jew ; that is to 
say, with a great deal of noise, but without 
much damnifying any one, as the public soon 
formed a true judgment of M, Sue and of the 
tendency of his works. 

On the other hand, how horrible it is, and 
what a fearful view of frail human nature is 
opened for a searching mind to observe that 
a man, who professes to have abandoned 
the pleasures of existence, to have broken 
through the very first law of nature, to have 
separated himself from his kind, and to have 
assumed perfection and infallibility, the attri- 
butes of his Creator, devoting the altar at 
which he serves to the wicked purposes of 


arraving man against man, and of embniing 
the hands held up before him at prayer in the 
blood of his fellow-mortals ! 

But such is the inevitable tendency of the 
system of ^' I am better than thou/' whether 
it be practised by a Catholic priest of the 
hedge-school, by a fanatic bawler about new 
light, or by a fierce and uncompromising 
churchman. Faith, hope, and charity, are 
alike misinterpreted and misunderstood. 
Faith with these consists in blind or hypo-, 
critical devotion to their peculiar opinions 
and dogmas ; hope is limited to the narrowest 
circle of ideas ; and charity, Divine charity, 
exists not; for even the very relics, the 
mouldering bones of the defunct, are not al- 
lowed to rest side by side ; and as to those 
differing in the slightest degree from them, 
to them charity extends not, however pious, 
however sincere, or however excellent they 
may be. 

The people of England are very little 
aware how widely Roman Catholicism ex- 
tends in the United States and in Canada. 


From accurate returns, it has been ascer- 
tained that in the United States there were 
last year 1,500,000, with 21 bishops, 675 
churches, 592 mission stations, and 572 
priests otherwise employed in teaching and 
travelling; 22 colleges or ecclesiastical esta- 
blishments, 23 literary institutions, 53 female 
schools or convents for instruction, 84 chari- 
table hospitals and institutions, and 220 
youjig students, preparing for the ministry ; 
whilst we learn, from the Annals of the Pro- 
paganda, that 1,130,000 francs were appro- 
priated, in May 1845, to the missions of Ame- 
rica, or about j647,000 annually, of which 
the share for the United States, including 
Texas, was 771,164 francs, or about j632,000 
in round numbers. 

Then again, the greater portion of the In- 
dian tribes in the north-west and west, ex- 
cepting neiir the Rocky Mountains or beyond 
them, are Roman Catholics ; and their num- 
bers are very great, and all in deep hatred, 
dislike, and enmity, to the Big Knives. 

More than half a million of the Lower 


Canadians are also of the same persuasion, 
and their church in Upper Canada is large 
and increasing by every shipload from Ire- 
land. Even in Oregon, a Catholic bishop has 
just been appointed. 

It is more than probable, that in and 
around the United States three millions of 
Roman Catholic men are ever ready to ad- 
vance the standard of their faith; whilst 
Mexico, weak as it is, offers another Catholic 
barrier to exclusive tenets of liberty, both of 
conscience and of person. 

It is surprising how very easily the emi- 
grants are misled, and how simply they fancy 
that, once on the shores of the New World, 
Fortune must smile upon them. 

There is a British society, as I have already 
stated, for mutual protection, established at 
New York ; and the government have agents 
of the first respectability at Quebec, at 
Montreal, and at Kingston. But the poorer 
classes, as well as those whose knowledge 
of life has been limited, are sadly defrauded 
and deluded. 



At a recent meeting of the Welsh Society 
at New York, facts were stated, showing the 
depravity and audacity of the crimps at 
Liverpool and New York. The President of 
the Society said that, owing to the nefarious 
practices against emigrants, the Germans 
first, then the Irish, after that the Welsh, 
and lastly the English residents of the city 
had taken the matter in hand by the forma- 
tion of Protective Societies. 

The president of the Friendly Sons of St. 
Patrick observed that in Liverpool the poor 
emigrants were fleeced without mercy ; and he 
gave as one instance a fact that, by the repre- 
sentations of a packet agent, a large number 
of emigrants were induced to embark on 
board a packet without the necessary supply 
of provisions, being assured that for their 
passage-money they would be supplied by the 
captain — an arrangement of which the captain 
was wholly ignorant. 

The president of the Welsh Society exhi- 
bited sixty dollars of trash in bills of the 
Globe Bank, that had been palmed off upon 




an unsuspecting Welshman by some rascal in 
Liverpool, in exchange for his hoarded gold, 
and declared that this was only one of a 
series of like villanies constantly occurring. 

The ex-president of the St. George's So- 
ciety, Mr. Fowler, mentioned a curious cir- 
cumstance connected with the history of New 
York. He said that he remembered the city 
when it contained only fifty thousand inha- 
bitants, and not one paved side walk,. except- 
ing in Dock Street. Now it had a population 
of nearly 400,000, and had so changed, 
that he could no longer identify the localities 
of his youthful days. 

Who, he asked, had done this ? The emi^ 
grant ! and it was protection they needed, 
not charity. He should have added, that the 
great mass of the emigrants who have made 
New York the mighty city it now is, were 
Irish, and that the native Americans have 
banded themselves in another form of protec- 
tion against their increasing influence. 

The republican notions which the greater 
portion of the lower classes emigrating from the 

VOL. I. c 


old country haye been drilled into, lead tbem 
to believe that in the United States aU men are 
equal, and that thus they have a splendid vault 
to make from poverty to wealth, an easy 
spring from a state of dependency to one of 
vast importance and consideration. The 
simple axiom of republicanism, that a plough- 
man is as good as a president^ or a quarry- 
man as an emperor, is taken firm hold of in 
any other sense than the right one. What 
sensible man ever doubted that we were all 
created in the same mould, and after the 
same image ; but is there a well educated sane 
mind in America, believing that a perfect 
equality in all things, in goods and chattels, in 
agrarian rights and in education, is, or ever 
will be, practicable in this naughty world ? 

Has nature farmed all men with the same 
capacities, and can they be so exactly edu- 
cated that all shall be equally fit to govern ? 

The converse is true. Nature makes 
genius, and not genius nature. How rarely 
she yields a Shakespeare ! — There has been but 
one Homer, one Virgil, since the creation. 


There was never a second Moses» nor have 
Solomon's wisdom and glory ever again been 

Look at the rulers of the earthy from the 
patriarchs to the present day, how few have 
been pre-eminent! Even in the earliest 
periods, when the age of man reached to ten 
times its present span, the wonderful sacred 
writ records Tubal-Cain, the first artificer, 
and Jubal, the lyrist, as most extraordinary 
men; and with what care are Aholiab and 
Bezabel, cunning in all sorts of craft, and 
Hiram, the artificer of Tyre, recorded! 
Hiram, the king, great as he undoubtedly 
was, was secondary in Solomon's eyes to the 
widow's son. 

These men, says the holy record, were 
gifted expressly for their peculiar mission ; 
and so are all men, to whom the Inscrutable has 
been pleased to assign extraordinary talent. 

Caesar, the conqueror. Napoleon, his imi- 
tator, and Nelson, and Wellington, are they 
on a par with the rabble of New York? 
Procul, 0, proeul este profani ! 

c 2 


Pure democracy is an utter and unattain- 
able impo8sibilit J ; nature has effectually 
barred against it. The only thing in the 
course of a life of more than half a century 
that has ever puzzled me about it is, that the 
Catholic clergy should, in so many parts of 
the world, have lent it a helping hand. The 
ministers of a creed essentially aristocratic, 
essentially the pillars of the divine right of 
kings, have they ever been in earnest about 
the matter ? Perhaps not ! 

If that giant of modern Ireland, the paci- 
ficator citizen king, succeeded in separating 
the island from Great Britain, would he, on 
attaining the throne, or the dictatorship, or 
the presidency, or whatever it might be, for 
the nonce, desire pure democracy ? Je crois 
que non, because, if he did, he would reign 
about one clear week afterwards. 

Look at the United States, see how each 
successive president is bowed down before the 
Moloch altar; he must worship the demo- 
cratic Baal, if he desires to be elected, or re- 
elected. It is not the intellect, or the wealth 
of the Union that rules. Already they sen- 


ously canvass iu the Empire State perfect 
equality in worldly substance^ and the divi* 
sion of the lands into small portions, suffi- 
cient to afford the means of respectable 
existence to every citizen. It is, perhaps, 
fortunate that very few of the office-holders 
have much substance to spare under these 
circumstances ; but, if the President, Vice- 
President, and the Secretaries of State, are 
to live upon an acre or two of land for the 
rest of their lives. Spartan broth will be 
indeed a rich diet to theirs. 

When the sympathizers invaded Canada, in 
1838-1839, the lands of the Canadians were 
thus parcelled out amongst them, as the 
reward of their extremely patriotic services, 
but in slices of one hundred, instead of one 
or two, acres. 

But, notwithstanding all this ultra-demo- 
cracy, there is at present a sufficient counter- 
balance in the sense of the people, to prevent 
any very serious consequences; and the 
Irish, from having had their religion trampled 
upon, and themselves despised, would be 


very likely to run counter to native 

If any country in the whole civilized 
world exhibits the inequality of classes 
more forcibly than another, it is the country 
which has lately annexed Texas, and which 
aims at annexing all the New World. 

There is a more marked line drawn between 
wealth and pretension on the one hand, 
poverty and impertinent assumption on the 
other, than in the dominions of the Czar. 
Birth, place, power, are all duly honoured, 
and that sometimes to a deofree which would 
astonish a British nobleman, accustomed all 
his life to high society. I remember once 
travelling in a canal boat, the most abomi- 
nable of all conveyances, resembling Noah's 
ark in more particulars than its shape, that 
I was accosted, in the Northern States too, 
and near the borders, where equality and 
liberty reign paramount, by a long slab-sided 
fellow-passenger, who, I thought, was going 
to ask me to pay his passage, his appearance 
was so shabby, with the following questions : 


"Where are you from? are you a Living- 
stone ?" I told him, for I like to converse 
vith characters, that I %fas from Canada. 
^* What's your name ?" he asked, I satisfied 
him. He examined me from head to foot 
with attention, and, as he was an elderly man, 
I stood the gaze most valiantly, " Well," he 
said, ' ^ I thought you were a Livingstone ; you 
have got small ears, and small feet and hands, 
and that, all the world over, is the sign of 
gentle blood." 

fie was afterwards very civil ; and, upon 
inquiring of the skipper of the boat who he 
was, I found that my friend was a man of 
large fortune, who lived somewhere near 
Utica, on an estate of his own. 

This was before the sympathy troubles, and 
I can back it with another story or two to 
amuse the reader. 

Some years ago, when it was the fashion in 
Canada for British officers always to travel in 
uniform, I went to Buffelo, the great city of 
Buffalo on lake Erie, in the Thames steamer, 
commanded by my good friend, Captain Van 


Allen, and the first British Canadian steam- 
boat that ever entered that harbour. We 
went in gallantly, with the flag flying that 
" has braved a thousand years the battle and 
the breeze." I think the majority of the popu- 
lation must have lined the wharfs to see us 
come in. They rent the welkin with wel- 
comes, and, among other demonstrations, cast 
up their caps, and cried with might and main— 
" Long live George the Third !*' — Our gra- 
cious monarch had for years before bid this 
world good night, but that was nothing; the 
good folks of Buffalo had not perhaps quite 
forgotten that they were once, long .before 
their city was a city, subjects of King George. 
I and another officer in uniform were re- 
ceived with all honours^ and escorted to the 
Eagle . hotel, where we were treated sump- 
tuously, and had to run the gauntlet of hand- 
shaking to great extent, A respectable gen- 
tleman, about forty, some seven years older 
than myself, stuck close to me all the while. 
I thought he admired the British undress uni- 
form.« but he only wanted to ask questions, 


and, after sundry answers, he inquired my 
name, which being courteously communicated, 
he said, *^ Well, I am glad, that's a fact, that 
I have seen you, for many is the whipping I 
have had for your book of Algebra." Now I 
never was capable of committing such an 
unheard-of enormity as being the cause of 
flagellation to any man by simple or qua- 
dratic equations ; and it must have been the 
binomial theorem which had tickled his catas- 
trophe, for it was my father's treatise which 
had penetrated into the new world of Buffa- 
lonian education. 

It is a pity, is it not, gentle reader, that 
such feelings do not now exist? 

Nevertheless, even now, the designation of 
a British officer is a passport in any part of 
the United States, The custom-house receives 
it with courtesy and good-will ; society is 
gratified by attentions received from a British 
officer; and it is coupled with the feelings 
which the habits and conduct of a gentleman 
engender throughout Christendom. 

At New York, I visited every place worth 



seeing; and, although disliking gambling, 
races, and debating societies, d outrance^ I 
was determined to judge for myself of New 
York, of life in New York. 

On one occasion, I was at a meeting: of the 
turf ta «! hotel fter the ™=«, .her. violent ' 
discussions and heavy champagning were 
going on. I was then (it was in 1837) a 
major in the army, and was introduced to. 
one or two prominent men in the room as a 
British officer who had been to see the race* 
course ; this caused a general stir, and the 
champagne flew about like — -— I am at a 
loss for a simile ; and the health of Queen 
Victoria was drunk with three times three. 

On board a packet returning from Eng- 
land, we had several of the leading characters 
of the United States as passengers. A very 
silly and troublesome democrat, of the Loco- 
foco school, from Philadelphia, made himself 
conspicuous always after dinner, when we sat, 
according to English fashion, at a dessert, by 
his vituperations against monarchy and an 
exhibition of his- excessive love for everything 


American. The gentlemen above alluded to, 
men who had travelled over Earope, whose 
edacatiou and manners made them that which 
a true gentleman is all over the world, were 
disgusted, and, to punish his impertinence, 
proposed that a weekly paper should be 
written hj the cabin passengers, in which the 
occurrences of each daj should be noted and 
commented upon, and that poetry, tales, and 
essays, should form part of its matter. 

They agreed to discuss the relative points 
and bearings of monarchy and democracy; 
they to depute one of their number to be the 
champion of monarchy ; and we to chuse the 
champion of democracy from amongst the 
English passengers. 

Two drawings were fixed up at each end 
of the table after dinner; one, representing 
a crowned Plum^pudding ; and the other, 
Liberty and Equality, by the well-known 
sign» The blustering animal was soon effec- 
tually silenced; a host of first-rate talent 
levelled a constant battery at his rude and 
uncultivated mind. 


I shall never forget this voyage, and I 
hope the talent-gifted Canadian lawyer who 
threw down the gauntlet of Republicanism, 
and who has since risen to the highest 
honours of his profession which the Queen 
can bestow, has preserved copies of the 
Saturday's Gazette of The Mediator Ame- 
rican Packet-ship. 

The mention of this vessel puts me in mind 
of one more American anecdote, and I must 
tell it, for I have a good deal of dry work 
before me. 

Crossing the Atlantic once in an American 
vessel, we met another American ship, of the 
same size, and passed very close. Our cap- 
tain displayed the stars and stripes in true 
ship-shape cordial greeting. Brother Jona- 
than took no notice of this sea civility, and 
passed on ; upon which the skipper, after 
taking a long look at him with his bpy -glass, 
broke out in a passion, " What !" said he, 
" you won't show your b- — d bunting, your 
old stripy rag? Now, I guess, if he had 
been a Britisher, instead of a d — d Yankee, 


he would not have been ashamed of his flag ; 
he would have acted like a gentleman. 
Phew !" and he whistled, and then chewed 
his cigar viciously, quite unconscious that I 
was enjoying the scene. 

But, if it be possible that one peculiar por- 
tion of the old countrymen are more disliked 
or despised than another in any country 
under the sun, connected by such ties as the 
United States are with Britain, there can be 
no doubt that the condition of the Jews 
under King John, as far as hatred and 
unexpressed contumelious feeling goes, was 
preferable to the feeling which native Ame- 
ricans, of the ultra Loco-foco or ultra-federal 
breed, entertain towards the labouring 
Catholic Irish, and would, if they could with 
safety, vent upon them in dreadful visitation. 
They would exterminate them, if they dared. 

To account for such a feeling, it must be 
observed that a large portion of these igno- 
rant and misguided men have brought much 
of this animosity upon themselves ; for, con- 
tinuing in the New World that barbarous 


tendency to demolish all systems and all 
laws opposed to their limited notions of right 
and wrong, and, whilst their senseless feuds 
among themselves harass society, they 
eagerly seek occasions for that restless poli'* 
tical excitement to which they are accus- 
tomed in their own unhappy and regretted 

A body of these hewers of wood and 
drawers of water, who, when not excited, are 
the most innocent and harmless people in 
the world — easily led, but never to be driven-^ 
get employed on a canal or great public work ; 
and, no sooner do they settle down upon 
wages which must appear like a dream to 
them, than some old feud between Cork and 
Connaught, some ancient quarrel of the 
Capulets and Montagues of low life, is recol* 
lected, or a chant of the Boyne water is 
heard^ and to it they go pell-mell, cracking 
one another's heads and disturbing a peaceful 
neighbourhood with their insane broils* 

Or, should a devil, in the shape of an ad- 
viser, appear among them, and persuade these 


excitable folks that they may obtain higher 
wages by forcing their own terms, bludgeons 
and bullets are resorted to, in order to com- 
pel compliance, and incendiarism and murder 
follow, until a military force is called out to 
quell the riots. 

The scenes of this kind in Canada, where 
yast sums are annually expended on the 
public works, have been frightful ; and such 
has been the terror which these lawless 
hordes have inspired, that timid people h^ve 
quitted their properties and fled out of the 
reach of the moral pestilence ; nay, it has 
been carried so far, that a Scotch regiment 
has been marked on account of its having been 
accidentally on duty in putting down a canal 
riot ; and, wherever its station has afterwards 
been cast, the vengeance of these people has 
followed it. 

At Montreal, the elections have been dis- 
graced by bodies of these canallers having 
been employed to intimidate and overawe 
voters ; and, were it not that a large military 
force is always at hand there, no election 


could be made of a member, whose seat 
would be the unbiassed and free choice of his 

It is, however, very fortunate for Canada 
that these canallers are not usually inclined 
to settle, but wander about from work to 
work, and generally, in the end, go to the 
United States. The Irish who settle are for- 
tunately a different people ; and, as they go 
chiefly into the backwoods, lead a peaceful 
and industrious life. 

But it is, nevertheless, very amusing, and 
affords much insight into the workings of 
frail human nature to observe the conduct of 
that portion of the Irish emigrants who find 
that they have neither the means of obtaining 
land, nor of quitting some large town at 
which they may arrive. Their first notion 
then is to go out to service, which they had 
left Ireland to avoid altogether. The father 
usually becomes a day-labourer, the sons 
farm-servants or household servants in the 
towns, the daughters cooks, nursery-maids, &c. 

When they come to the mistress of a family 


to hire, they generally sit down on the nearest 
chair to the door in the room, and assume a 
manner of perfect familiarity, assuring the 
lady of the house that they never expected to 
go out to service in America, but that some 
family misfortune has rendered such a step 
necessary. The lady then, of course, asks 
them what branch of household service they 
can undertake ; to which the invariable reply 
is, anything — cook or housemaid, child's- 
maid or housekeeper, and that indeed they 
lived in better places at home than they ex- 
pect to get in America, such as Lord So-and- 
so's, or Squire So-and-so's. 

The end of this is obvious ; and a lady told 
me, the other day, she hired a professed cook, 
who was very shortly put to the test by a 
dinner-party occurring a day or two after she 
joined the household. Her mistress ordered 
dinner ; and one joint, or piece de resistance, 
was a fine fillet of veal. The professed cook, 
it appeared, laboured under a little manque 
xi'tisage on two delicate points, for she very 
unexpectedly burst into her lady's boudoir 


just as she was dressing for dinner, and ex- 
claimed, ** Mistress, dear, what'U I do with 
the vail r~" The veil?" said the dame, in 
horror; "what veil?" — "Why, the vail in 
the pot, marm ; I biled it, and it swelled out 
so, the divil a get it out can I git it." 

So with the £arm-servants, they can all do 
everything ; and an Irish gentleman told me 
that he lately hired a young man, an emi- 
grant, to plough for him ; and, on asking him 
if he understood ploughing, the good-natured 
Paddy answered, oflfhand, " Ploughing, is it ? 
Pm the boy for ploughing." — *\YeTj well, 
I'm glad of it," said the gentleman, " for you 
are a fine, likely young fellow, so I shall hire 
you." He hired him accordingly at high 
wages — ten dollars a month and provisions 
and lodging found. The first day he was to 
work, my friend told him to go and yoke 
the oxen. Paddy stared with all his eyes, 
but said nothing, and went away. He staid 
some time, and then returned with a pair of 
oxen, which he was driving before him. 
" Here's the oxen, master !" — " Where are 


the yokes, Paddy ?"— " The yokes ! by the 
powers, is that what they call beef in 
Canady ?" Poor Paddy had been a weaver 
all his live-long days. 

The Irish are almost exclusively the ser- 
vants in most parts of the tiorUiern states 
and throughout Canada, excepting the French 
Canadians, and very attached, faithful ser- 
vants they frequently are; but notions of 
liberty and equality get possession of their 
phrenological developments, and they are 
almost always on the move to better their 
condition, which rarely happens as they 

Then another crying evil in Canada and in 
the States is the rage for dress. An Irish 
girl no sooner gets a modicum of wages than 
all her thoughts are to go to chapel or 
church as fine or finer than her mistress. 
Nearly every servant-girl in the large towns 
has a ridiciUe (that must be the proper way 
of spelling it), a bustle, a parasol, an ex- 
pensive shawl, and a silk gown, and fine 
bonnet, gloves, and a white pocket-handker- 


chief. The men are not so aspiring, and 
usually don on Sundays a blue coat and brass 
buttons, white pantaloons, white gloves, and 
a good fur cap in winter, or a neat straw 
hat or brilliant beaver in summer. The 
waistcoat is nc^descript, but the boots are 
irreproachable. A cigar has nearly replaced 
the pipe in the streets. 

I will defy a short-sighted person to dis- 
tinguish her nursery-maid from her own sister 
at a little distance; and, being somewhat 
afflicted that way myself, I frequently nod to 
a well-dressed soubrette, thinking she is at 
least a leading member of the aristocracy of 
the town ; and this is the more amusing, as 
in all colonial towns and in the haute societe 
of the Republic very considerable magnifi- 
cence is affected, and a rage for rank and 
pseudo-importance is not a little the order of 
the day. " Nothing," says a distinguished 
writer upon that most frivolous of all thread- 
bare subjects, etiquette, " nothing is more 
decidedly the sign of a ^vulgar-bom or a 
vulgar-bred person than to be ready to prac- 


tise the art of cutting." I therefore bow to 
the well-dressed grisettes, upon the principle 
of avoiding to be thought vulgar in mixed 
society by cutting a lady of tremendous rank ; 
as I would rather take a cook for a Countess, 
or a chambermaid for an Honourable, than be 
guilty of so much rudeness. 

You must not smile, gentle reader, and say 
cooks are often handsomer than Countesses, 
or chambermaids prettier than Honourables ; 
I am like the old man of the Bubbles of 
Brunnen, insensible to anything but the 
beauties of nature. Neither must you think 
we have no Countesses qor Honourables in 
Canada. The former are in truth rarce aves^ 
but the latter— why, every change of ministry 
creates a batch of them. 



The Emigrant and his Prospects. 

Those who really wish Canada well desire 
it to become a second Britain, and not a mere 
second Texas. Those who wish it evil, and 
these comprise the restless, unprovided race 
of politicians ander whose incessant agitation 
Canada has so long groaned, desire its Texian 
annexation to the already overgrown States 
in its vicinity. 

That it may become a second Britain and 
hold the balance of power on the continent of 
America is my prayer, and the prayer too of 
one who entertains no enmity towards the 
people of the United States, but who ad- 
mires their unceasing exertions in behalf of 
their country, who would admire their insti- 
tutions, based as they are upon those of Eng- 


land, if the grand design of Washington had 
been carried out, and perfect freedom of 
thought and of action had been secured to 
the people, instead of a slavish awe of the 
mob, an absolute dread of the uneducated 
masses, a sovereign contempt of the opinion 
of the world in accomplishing any design for 
the aggrandizement of the Union, the most 
despotic and degrading oppression of all who 
presume to hold religious opinions at variance 
with those of the masses, and the chained 
bondsman in a land of liberty ! 

To guard the respectable settler, who has a 
character at stake, and a family with some little 
capital to lay out to better advantage than he 
can at home, against the grievous and often 
fatal errors which have been propagated for 
sinister motives by needy adventurers who 
have written about Canada, or who are or 
have been agents for the sake only of the 
remuneration which it brings, caring but little 
for the misery they have entailed, I have un- 
dertaken to continue an account of this fine 
province, where nothing is provided by Nature 


except fertile soil and a healthy climate ; the 
rest she leaves to unremitting labour and to 
the exercise of judgment by the settler. 

As 1 have already inferred, this work will 
contain nothing vituperative of the United 
States, of that people who are the grandchil- 
dren of Britannia, and whose well-being is so 
essential to the peace and security of Christ- 

I shall endeavour to render it as plain and 
unpretending as possible^ and shall not confine 
myself to studied rules or endeavours to make 
a book, taking up my subject as suits my own 
leisure, which is not very ample, and resuming 
or interrupting it at pleasure or convenience. 

It will be necessary to enter more at large 
than in my preceding volumes into the re- 
sources of Canada, and, for this end, Geology 
and other scientific subjects must be intro- 
duced; but, as I dislike exceedingly that 
heavy and gaudy veil of learning, that em- 
broidered science, with which modem taste 
conceals those secrets of Nature which have 
been so partially unfolded, I shall not have 


frequent recourse to absurd Greek derivations, 
which are very commonly borrowed for the 
occasion from technical dictionaries, or lent 
by a classical friend ; but, whenever they must 
occur, the dictionary shall explain them, for 
I really think it beneath the dignity of the 
lights of modern Geology to talk as they do 
about the Placoids and the Ganoids, as the 
first created fishlike beings, and of the Cnetoids 
and the Cycloids as the more recent finners. It 
always puts me in mind of Shakespeare's mag- 
niloquence concerning ** the Anthropophagi 
and men whose heads do grow beneath their 
shoulders, of antres vast and deserts idle/' 
when he exhibited his learning in language 
which no one, however, can imitate, and which 
he makes the lady seriously incline and listen, 
to, simply because she did not understand 
a word that was said. So it is with the overr 
done and <5ontiaual changing of terms that 
now constantly occurs^ insomuch that the 
terms of plain science, instead of being sim- 
plified and brought within the reach of ordi- 
nary capacHies, is made as iincouth and sl^ 

VOL. I. D 


unintelligible as possible, and totally beyond 
the reach of those viho have no collegiate 
edacation to boast of, and no good technical 
dictionary at hand to refer to. 

The present age is most prone to this false 
estimate of learning and to public scientific 
display. If science, true science, yields to it, 
learning will yery soon yanish from the face 
of the earth again, and nothing but monkish 
lore and the dark ages return. 

There is a vast field open for research in 
Canada : it is yet a virgin soil, both as re-* 
spects its moral and its physical cultivation. 
Therefore, plain facts are the best, and those 
made as level to the eye as possible ; for the 
amusing mistakes which a would-be learned 
^lan makes, after a cursory perusal of any- 
thing scientific, only subject him to silent 

A very old casual acquaintance of mine, a 
sort of man |iolding a rather elevated rank, 
but originally from the great unwashed, who 
had risen by mere chance, aided by a little 
borough influence, was tallying to me one day 


about some property of his in Western Canada, 
which he fancied had rich minerals upon it. 
Accordingly, he had taken a preliminary 
Treatise on Mineralogy in hand, and puzzled 
his brains in order to converse learnedly. 
" My land," quoth he, ** is Silesia, and has a 
great bed of sulphuret of pyrites." The 
poor gentleman, who had a vast opinion of 
himself and always contradicted everybody 
about everything, meant that his soil con* 
tained a deal of silica, and that iron pyrites 
was abundant in it. 

The importance of the annual migration 
from Britain is best evidenced by the re- 
presentation of the chief emigrant agent at 
Quebec, subjoined. 

In all the great sea-ports of England, Irer 
land, and Scotland, there are emigrant agents 
appointed by the government, to whom 
application should always be made for infor- 
mation, by every emigrant who has not the 
advantage of friends in Canada to receive 
and guide him ; and these gentlemen prevent 
the trouble, expense, loss of time, and fraud, 

D 2 


to which the poor settlers are subjected by thfe- 
crimps aad agents, with whom every sea-port 

On their arrival in Canada, if ignorant of 
their way, they should apply at Quebec to 
the government principal agent, who is sta- 
tioned there for the lower oip eastern part of 
Canada, and he will give them either advice 
or passage, according to the nature of the case. 
It is a pity that a rage exists for going as 
fp.r west as possibly at first, for this rage 
causes distress, and ends frequently by their 
being kidnapped into settling in the United 

If, however, they are determined to go on 
to Western Canada, tb^r course is either to 
pay their own way, or to obtain assistance 
from the government to send them on to 
Kingston, where another government agent for 
Western Canada is stationed ; and, as this 
gentleman has now acted in that capacity for 
ipany years, he possesses a perfect knowledge 
of the country and its resources, and of the 
wants and objects of the settlers. 


There is excellent land, and plenty of it to 
be obtained from the British American Land 
Company in Lower Canada, in that portion 
called " The Townships," which adjoin the 
«tate$ of Vermont and New York ; and, ex- 
cepting that the winters are longer, the 
climate more severe, it is as desirable as any 
other part of the province, and, in point of 
health, perhaps more so, as it is sufficiently 
far from the great river and lakes to make 
it less subject to ague; which, however, more 
or less, all new countries in the temperate 
zone, well forested and watered, are invariably 
the seat of, and which is increased in power 
and frequency in proportion to the neighbour* 
hood of fresh water in large bodies, and the 
tise of whiskey as a preventive. 

From a statement of the number of emi- 
grants to this colony for the - last sixteen 
years, compiled by A. C, Buchanan, Esq., 
chief emigrant agent, it appears that, in the 
five years subsequently to 1829, the emigra- 
tion from the British ' Isles was 165,793, 
From other- soui'ceSjin the three years, from 


18S9 to 1833, the emigration exceeded that of 
the previoas ten years — the numbers being re* 
spectively, 125,063 and 121,170, In 1832, 
the emigrants arrived reached the high number 
of 51,746 ; but the cholera of that year was 
of so fatal a character on the St. Lawrence, 
that the numbers in 1833 fell 22,062. This 
epidemic, coupled with the rebellions of '37 
and '38, materially checked the increased 
emigration commenced in 1836. In 1838, 
the number was only 3,266, and in 1839, 
7,500. But, since 1840, emigration has 
again recovered, and, during the period of 
navigation of 1845, it amounted to 279354^ 
of whom 2,612 arrived via the United 

The United States, however, received by 
far the largest proportion of the emigration 
from Britain. At the port of New York 
alone, from 1st November, 1844, to 31st 
October, 1845, there arrived — 

From England and Scotland . . 10,653 

From Ireland , . . . 38,300 


Total St New York . . . 48,953 



The number of emigrants landed at the 
port of Quebec, in 1845, was 25,375. 


England . 
Scotland . 
British Ani«- 

'29 to '33 

'34 to '38 

'39 to '43 

'44 to '45 























Upper Canada would seem to have received 
the largest share of the influx of population^ 
The increase in the number of its inha- 
bitants, between 1827 and 1843, is stated at 

The local government has for some few 
years past encouraged, although rather scan- 
tily, as Mr. Logan can, I dare say, testify, an 
exploration of the natural resources of the 
Canadas, as far as geology and mineralogy 
are concerned. Its medical statistics, its 
botany and zoology, will follow ; and agricul- 
ture, that primary and most noble of all 
applications of the mind to matter, is 


tnaking rapid strides, by the formation of 
district and local societies, which will do in- 
finitely more good than any system of govern- 
ment patronage for the advancement of the 
welfare of the people could devise. 

The public works havo also, for the first 
time, been placed under the control of the 
executive and legislative bodies by the forma- 
tion of a board, which is itself also subject 
to the supervision of the government* 

But much remains to be done on this Im- 
portant head. A melancholy error was cona* 
mitted in making the President, and conse- 
quently all the officers and employes^ of the 
Board of Works, partizans of the ministry of 
the day; thus paralyzing the efforts of a 
zealous man, on £he one hand, by the fear of 
dismissal upon any change of the popu- 
lar will, and neutralizing his efforts whilst 
in office, by rendering his measures mere 

This has been amended under Lord Met- 
calfe's administration ; and it is to be hoped 
that the office of President of the Board of 


Works will hereafter he one subjected to se* 
vere but not to vexatioas scrutiny, and at the 
same time carefully guarded against political 
influence, and only rendered tenable with 
honour by the capacity of the person 
selected to fill it and of his subordinates. 

Canada is, as I have written two former 
volumes to prove, a magnificent country. I 
doubt very much if Nature has created a finer 
country on the whole earth. 

The soil is generally good, as that made by 
the decay of forests for thousands of years 
upon substrata, chiefly formed of alluvion 
or diluvion, the deposit from waters, must 
be. It is, moreover, from Quebec to the 
Falls of St. Mary, almost a flat surface, 
intersected and interlaced by numberless 
streams, and studded with small lakes, whilst 
its littorale is a river unparalleled in the 
world, expanding into enormous fresh water 
eeas, abounding with fish. 

If the tropical luxuries are absent, if its 
winters are long and excessively severe, yet 
it yields ^11 the European fruits abundantly; 



and even some of the tropical ones, owing to 
the richness of its soil and the great heat of 
the summer. Maize^ or Indian corn, flou- 
rishes, and is more wholesome and better 
than that produced in the warm South. The 
crops of potato, that apple of the earth, as 
the French so justly term it, are equal, if not 
superior, to those of any other climate ; whilst 
all the vegetables of the temperate regions of 
the old world grow with greater luxuriance 
than in their original fields. I have successively 
and successfully cultivated the tomato, the 
melon, and the capsicum, in the open air, for 
several seasons, at Kingston and Toronto, 
which are not the richest or the best parts of 
Western Canada, as far as vegetation is con- 
cerned. Tobacco grows well in the western 
district, and where is finer wheat harvested 
than in Western Canada ? — whilst hay, and 
that beauty of a landscape, the rich green 
sod, the velvet carpet of the earth, are 
abundant and luxuriant. 

If the majesty of vegetation is called in 
question, and intertropical plants brought 


forwd^rd in contrasti even the woods and 
trackless forests of Guiana, where the rankest 
of luxuriance prevails, will not do more than 
compete with the glory of the primeval 
woods of Canada. I know of nothing in 
this world capable of exciting emotions of 
wonder and adoration more directly, than to 
travel alone through its forests. Pines, lift- 
ing their hoary tops beyond man's vision, 
unless be inclines his head so far backwards 
as to be painful to his organization, with 
trunks which require fathoms of line to span 
them ; oaks, of the most gigantic form ; the 
immense and graceful weeping elm ; enormous 
poplars, whose magnitude must be seen to be 
conceived ; lindens, equally vast ; walnut trees 
of immense size ; the beautiful birch, and the 
wild cherry, large enough to make tables and 
furniture of. 

Oh, the gloom and the glory of these 
forests, and the deep reflection that, since 
they were first created by the Divine fiat^ 
civilized man has never desectated them with 
his unsparing devastations; that a peculiaf 

B6 . Canada AND 

race, bom for these solitudes, once dwelt 
amidst their shades, living as Nature's wood* 
land children, until a more subtile being than 
the serpent of Eden crept amongst them, and, 
with his glittering novelties and dangerous 
beauty, caused their total annihilation ! I 
see, in spirit, the red hunter, lofty, fearless, 
and stem, stalking in his painted nudity, and 
displaying a form which Apollo might have 
envied, amidst the everlasting and silent 
woods; I see, in spirit, the bearded stranger 
from the rising sun, with his deadly arms and 
his more deadly fire-jvater, conversing with 
his savage fellow, and displaying the envied 
wealth of gorgeous beads and of gaudy 

The scene changes, the proud Indian is at 
the feet of his ensnarer ; disease has relaxed 
his iron sinews ; drunkenness has debased hid 
mind ; and the niyriad crimes and vices of 
civilized Europe have combined to sweep the 
aborigines of the soil from the face of thd 
forest earth. The forest groans beneath the 
axe ; but, after a few years, the scene again 


ehanges ; fertile fields, orchards and gardens^: . 
delight the eye ; the city, and the town, and 
the village spires rise, and where two solitary 
wigwams of the red hunter were once alone 
occasionally observed, twenty thousand white 
Canadians now worship the same Great Author 
of the existence of all mankind. 

And to increase these fields, these orchards, 
these gardens, these villages, these towns^ 
and these cities, year after year, thirty thou-^ 
sand of the children of Britain cross the broad 
Atlantic : and what seeks this mass of human 
beings, braving the perils of the ocean and 
the perils of the land? Competence and 
wealth! The former, by prudence, is soon 
attainable ; the acquisition of the latter uii« 
certain and fickle. 

No free grants of land are now given, but 
the settler may obtain them upon easy terms 
from the government, or the Canada and 
British American companies. 

The settler with a small capital cannot do 
better than purchase out and out. Install 
ments are a bad mode of purchasing ; for, if 


^ all should not turn out right, instalments are 
doraetimes difficult to meet; and the very 
best land, in the best locations, as we shall 
hereafter see, is to be had from 7s. 6rf., if in 
the deep Bush, as the forest is called ; to 10^., 
if nearer a market; or 15^. and 20^., if very 
eligibly situated. Thus for two hundred pounds 
a settler can buy two hundred acres of good 
land, can build an excellent house for two 
hundred and fifty more, and stock his farm 
with another fifty, as a beginning ; or, in other 
words, he can commence Canadian life for five 
hundred pounds sterling, with every prospect 
before him, if he has a family, of leaving them 
prosperous and happy. But he and they must 
work, work, work^ He and all his sons must 
avoid whiskey, that bane of the backwoods, as 
they would avoid the rattlesnake, which 
aottietimes comes across their path. Whiskey 
and wet feet destroy more promising young 
men in Canada than ague and fever, that 
gcourge of all well watered woody countries ; 
for the ague and fever seldom kill but with 
the assistance of tt;e dram and of exposure. 


Men nurtured in luxury or competence at 
home, as soon as the unfailing ennui arising 
from want of society in the backwoods begins 
to succeed the excitement of settling, too 
frequently drink, and in many cases drink 
from their waking hour until they sink at 
night into sottish sleep. This is peculiarly the 
case where there is no yiUage nor town within 
a day's journey; and thus many otherwise 
estimable young men become habitual drunk- 
ards, and sink from the caste of gentlemen 
gradually into the dregs of society, whilst 
their wives and families suffer proportionably* 

In Lower Canada, this vice does not pre- 
vail to the same extent as in the upper por- 
tion of the province. The French Canadians 
are not addicted to the vice of drinking ardent 
spirits as a people, although the lumberers 
and voyageurs shorten their lives very con- 
siderably by the use of whiskey. The lumber- 
ers ^ who are the cutters and conveyers of 
timber, pass a short and excited existence. 

In the winter, buried in the eternal forest, 
far, far away from the haunts of man, they 


chop and hew; in the summer, they form the 
timber, boards, staves, &c., into rafts, which 
are conveyed down the great lakes and the 
rivers St. Lawrence and Ottawa to Quebec-— 
on these rafts they live and have their summer 
being. Hard fare in plenty, such as salt pork 
and dough cakes ; fat and unleavened bread, 
with whiskey, is their diet. Tea and sugar 
form an occasional luxury. Up to their waists 
in snow in winter, and up to their waists in 
summer and autumn in water, with all the 
moving accidents by flood and field ; the 
occasional breaking-up of the raft in a rapid, 
the difficulty of the winter and spring trans- 
port of the heavy logs of squared timber out 
of the deep and trackless woods, combine to 
form a portion of the hard and reckless life 
of a lumberer, whose morale is not much 
better than his physicale. 

Picture to yourself, child of luxury, sitting 
on a cushioned sofa, in a room where the 
velvet carpet renders a footfEill noiseless, where 
art is exhausted to afford comfort, and where 
even the hurricane cannot disturb your peru* 


sal of this work, a wood reaching without 
limit, excepting the oceans either of salt or 
fresh water which surround Canada, and 
where to lose the track is hopeless starvation 
and death ; figure the giant pines towering to 
the clouds, gloomy and Titan-like, throwing 
their vast arms to the skyey influences, and 
making a twilight of mid-day, at whose 
enormous feet a thicket of bushes, almost as 
high as your head, prevents your progress 
without the pioneer axe ; or a deep and black 
swamp for miles together renders it necessary 
to crawl from one fallen monarch of the wood 
onwards to the decaying and prostrate bole 
of another, with an occasional plunge into the 
mud and water, which they bridge; eternal 
silence reigning, disturbed only by your feeble 
efforts to advance ; and you may form some 
idea of a red pine land, rocky and uneven, or 
$, cedar swamp, black as night, dark, dismal; 
and dangerous. 

Here, after you have hewed of crept your 
toiling way, you see, some yards or some hun- 
dred yards, as the forest is close or open, 


before you, a light blue curling smoke amongst 
the dank and lugubrious scene ; you hear a 
dull, distant, heavy, sudden blow, frequent 
and deadened, followed at long intervals by a 
tremendous rending, crashing, overwhelming 
push ; then all is silent, till the voice of the 
guardian of man is heard growling, snarling, 
or barking outright, as you advance towards 
the blue smoke, which has now, by an eddy 
of the wind, filled a large space between the 

You stand before the fire, made under three 
or four sticks set up tenwise, to which a 
large cauldron is hung, bubbling and seething, 
with a very strong odour of fat pork ; a boy^ 
dirty and ill-favoured, with a sharp glittering 
axe, looks very suspiciously at you, but calhi 
off his wolfish dog, who sneaks away. 

A moment shows you a long hut, formed 
of logs of wood, with a roof of branches, 
covered by birch-bark, and by its side, or 
near the fire, several nondescript sties or pens, 
apparently for keeping pigs in, formed of 
branches close to the ground, either like a 


boat turned upside down, or literally as a pig* 
sty is formed, as to shape. 

In the large hut, which is occasionally more 
luxurious and made of slabs of wood or of 
rough boards, if a saw-mill is within reason- 
able distance, and there is a passable wood 
road, or creek, or rivulet, navigable by canoes, 
you see some barrel or two of pork, and of 
flour, or biscuit, or whiskey, some tools, and 
some old blankets or skins. Here you are in 
the lumberer's winter home — I cannot call him 
woodman, it would disgrace the ancient and 
ballad-sung craft ; for the lumberer is not a 
gentle woodman, and you need not sing sweetly 
to him to " spare that tree." 

The larger dwelling is the hall, the common 
hall, and the pig-sties the sleeping-places. I 
presume that such a circumstance as pulling 
off habiliments or ablution seldom occurs; 
they roll themselves in a blanket or skin, if 
they have one, and, as to water, they are so 
frequently in it during the summer, that I 
suppose they wash half the year uninten* 
tionally. Fat pork, the fattest of the fat, is 


the lumberer's luxury; and, as he has the 
universal rifle or fowling-piece, he kills a 
partridge, a bear, or a deer, now and then. 

I was exploring last year some woods in a 
newly settled township, the township of 
Seymour West, in the Newcastle district of 
Upper Canada, with a view to see the 
nakedness of the land, which had been repre-* 
sented to me as flowing with milk and honey, 
as all new settlements of course are said to 
do. I wandered into the lonely but beauti^ 
ful forest, with a companion who owned the 
soil, and who had told me that the lumberers 
were robbing him and every settler around of 
their best pine timber. After some toiling 
and tracing the sound of the axes, few and 
far between, felling in the distance, we came 
upon the unvarying boy at cookery, the axe, 
and the dog. 

My conductor at once saw the extent of 
the mischief going on, and, finding that the 
gang, although distant from the camp-fire, 
was numerous, advised that we should retrace 
our steps. We however interrogated the boy, 



who would scarcely answer, and pretended to 
know nothing. The dog began to be inqoi* 
sitive too, and one of the dogs we had with 
ns venturing a little too near a savoury piece 
of pork, the nature of the young half-bred 
TufBan suddenly blazed out, and the axe was 
uplifted to kill poor Dash. I happened to 
have a good stick, and interfered to prevent 
dog-murder, upon which the wood-demon 
ejaculated that he would as soon let out my, 
guts as the dog's, and therefore rnj compa- 
nion had to shoiv his gun ; for showing his 
teeth would have been of little avail with the 
young savage. 

The settlers are afraid of the lumberers ; and 
thus all the finest land, near rivers, creeks, or 
transport of any kind, is swept of the timber 
to such an extent that you must go now far, 
far back from the Lakes, the St, Lawrence, 
or the Ottawa, before you can see the forest 
in its primeval grandeur, 
' This robbery has been carried on in so 
barefaced and extensive a manner, that the 
chief adventurer, usually a merchant or trader, 


who supplies the axe and canoemen with pay 
in his shop goods, cent, per cent, above their 
value, becomes enriched. 

The lumberer's life is truly an unhappy one, 
for, when he reaches the end of the raft's voy- 
age, whatever money he may have made goes 
to the fiddle, the female, or the fire-water ; 
and he starts again as poor as at first, living 
perhaps by a rare chance to the advanced 
age, for a lumberer, of forty years. 

And a curious sight is a raft, joined toge- 
ther not with ropes but with the limbs and 
thews of the swamp or blue beech, which is 
the natural cordage of Canada and is used for 
scaffolding and packing. 

A raft a quarter of a mile long — I hope 
I do not exaggerate, for it may be half a 
mile, never having measured one but by the 
eye — ^with its little huts of boards, its apo- 
logies for flags and streamers, its numerous 
little masts and sails, its cooking caboose, and 
its contrivances for anchoring and catching 
the wind by slanting boards, with the men 
who appear on its surface as if they were 


walking on the lake, is curious enough ; but 
to see it in drams, or detached portions, sent 
down foaming and darting along the timber 
slides of the Ottawa or the restless and rapid 
Trent, is still more so ; and fearful it is to 
observe its conducteur, who looks in the rapid 
by no means so much at his ease as the func- 
tionary of that name to whom the Paris dili- 
gence is entrusted. 

Numberless accidents happen; the drams 
are torn to pieces by the violence of the 
stream ; the rafts are broken by storm and 
tempest ; the men get drunk and fall over ; 
and altogether it appears extraordinary that 
a raft put together at the Trent village for its 
final voyage to Quebec should ever reach its de- 
stination, the transport being at least four hun- 
dred and fifty miles, and many go much farther, 
through an open and ever agitated fresh water 
sea, and amongst the intricate channels of 
The Thousand Islands, and down the tremen- 
dous rapids of the Longue Sault, the Gallope, 
the Cedars, the Cascades, &c. 

Eut a new trade has lately commenced on 


Lake Ontario, which will break up some of 
the hardships of the rafting. Old steamboats 
of very large size, when no longer serviceable 
in their vocation, are now cut down, and per-» 
haps lengthened, masted, and rigged as 
barques or ships, and treated in every respect 
like the Atlantic timber-vessels. Into these 
three-masters, these Leviathans of Lake On-* 
tario, the timber, boards, staves, handspikes, 
&c., from the interior are now shipped, and 
the timber carried to the head of the St/ 
Lawrence navigation. 

One step more, and they will, as soon as 
the canals are widened, proceed from Lake 
Superior to London without a raft being ever 

That this will soon occur is very evident ; 
for a large vessel of this kind, as big as a 
frigate, and named the Goliath, is at the 
moment that I am writing preparing at To- 
ronto, near the head of Lake Ontario, a 
thousand miles from the open sea, for a voy- 
age direct to the West Indies and back again. 
Success to her ! What with the railroad from 


Halifax to Lake Huron, from the Atlantio 
Ocean to the great fresh ocean of the West— 
what with the electric telegraph now in ope- 
ration on the banks of the Niagara by the 
Americans — what with the lighting of vil- 
lages on the shores of Lake Erie with natural 
gas, as Fredonia is lit, and as the city of the 
Falls of Niagara, if ever it is built, will also be, 
there is no telling what will happen : at all 
events, the poor lumberer must benefit in the 
next generation, for the worst portion of his 
toils will be done away with for ever. 

Settler, never become a lumberer, if you 
can avoid it. 

But, as we have in this favourite hobby- 
horse style of ours, which causes description 
to start up as recollections occur, accom- 
panied the lumberer on his voyage to that 
lumberer's Paradise, Quebec, whither he has 
conducted his charge to The Coves, for 
the culler to cull, the marker to mark, 
the skipper to ship, and the lumber-mer- 
chant to get the best market he can for 
it, so we shall return for a short time to 

VOL. I. E 


Lower Canada, to talk a little about settle-* 
ment there. 

As I hinted before, Lower Canada is too 
much decried as a country to re-commence 
the world in ; but the Anglo-Saxon and Mi* 
lesian populace are nevertheless beginning to 
discover its value, and are very rapidly increa- 
sing both in numbers and importance. The 
French Canadian yeoman, or small farmer, has 
an alacrity at standing still ; it is only le notaire 
apd le medecin that advance ; so that, if emi- 
gration goes, on at the rate it has done since 
the rebellion, the old country folks will, hefoi^e 
fift]^ more years pass oyer, outnumber and out- 
vote, by ten times, Jean Baptiste, which is a 
pity, for a better soul than that merry mixture 
of bonhomie and phlegm, the French Canadian 
is, the wide world's surface does not produce. 
Visionary notions of la gloire de la nation Ca- 
nadiennej instilled into him by restless men, 
who panted for distinction and cared not for 
distraction, misled the bonnet rouge awhile : 
but he has superadded the thinking cap since ; 
and, although he may not readily forget the 


sad lesson he received^ yet he has no more 
idea of being annexed to the United States 
than I have of being Grand Lama. In fact, 
I really believe that the mercifal policy 
which has been shown, and the wise measure 
of- making Montreal the seat of government, 
and thus practically demonstrating the ad- 
vantage of the institutions of England by 
daily lessons in the heart of their dear coun- 
try, has done more to recall the Canadians 
to a sense of the real value of the connexion 
with Great Britain than all the protocols 
of diplomatists, or all the powder that ever 
saltpetre generated, could have achieved. 

Pursue a perfectly impartial course, as you 
ought and must do, towards the Canadians, 
and show them that they are as much British 
citizens as the people of Toronto are, and 
you may count upon their loyalty and devo- 
tion without fear. They know they never can 
be an independent nation ; that folly has been 
dreamed out, and the fumes of the vision are 

They now know and feel that annexation 

£ 2 


to the great Republic in their neighbourhood 
will swamp their nationality mora, effectively 
than the red or the blue coats of England can 
ever do, will desecrate their altars, will por- 
tion out their lands, will nullify their present 
importance^ and render them an isolated race, 
forgotten and unsought for, as the Iroquois 
of the last century, who, from being the 
children and owners of the land, the true 
enfans du solj are now — where ? The soil, had 
it voice, could alone reply, for on its surface 
they are not. 

We must Jieirer in England form a false 
estimate of the French Canadian, because a 
few briefless lawyers or saddle-bag medical 
men urged them into rebellion. Their feel- 
ings and spirit are not of the same genre as 
the feelings and spirit which animated the 
hideous soul of the poissardes and canaille of 
Paris in 1792. There is very little or no 
poverty in Lower Canada ; every man who 
will work there, can work ; and it is a nation 
rather of small farmers than of classes, with 
tiie ideas of independence which property. 


however small, invariably generates in the 
human breast ; but with that other idea also 
which urges it to preserve ancient landmarks. 

It is chiefly in the large towns and in their 
neighbourhood that the desire for exclusive 
nationality still exists, fostered by a rabid 
appetite for distinction in some ardent and 
reckless adventurers from the British ranks, 
who care little what is undermost so long as 
they are uppermost. 

The hostility of the British settlers to the 
French is by no means so great as is so care- 
fully and constantly described, and would 
altogether cease, if not kept continually alive 
by Upper Canadian demonstration, and that 
desire to rule exclusively which has so long 
been the bane of this fine colony. 

It reminds one always of the morbid hatred 
of France, which existed thirty years ago in 
England, when Napoleon was believed, by 
the lower classes — ^ay, and by some of the 
higher too — to be ApoUyon in earnest. 

I remember an old lord of the old school, 
whose family honours were not of a hundred 


yearSy and whose ancestors had been ve* 
spectable traders, saying to me, a short time 
before he died, that Republican notions had 
spread so much from our peace with infidel 
France, that he should yet live to see those 
who possiBssed talent or energy enough 
among the middle class, take those honours 
which he was so proud of, and with the titles 
also, the estates. 

Look, said he, at the absurd decoration 
showered on the savans of France, Baron 
Cuvier, for instance ; and he fell into a pas- 
sion, and, being a French scholar, sang forth, 
in a paroxysm of gout, this refrain :— 

" Travaillez, trav^illez, bon tonnelier, 
Bacommodez, racommodez, ton Cuvier. 


And yet he was by no means an ignorant 
man— was at heart a true John Bull, and 
had travelled and seen the world. He tvas 
blinded by an unquenchable hatred of France, 
a hatred which has now ceased in England in 
consequence of the facility of intercourse, 
but which is revived in France ag&inst Eng- 



land by those who think la gloire preferable 
to peace and honour. 

The miserable feudal system in Lower 
Canada has kept the French population in 
abeyance; that population is literally dor- 
mant, and the resources of the country 
unused ; a Seigneur, now often anything but 
a Frenchman, holds an immense tract, par- 
celled out into little slips amongst a pea- 
santry, whose ideas are as limited as their 
lands. Generation after generation has tilled 
these patches, until they are exhausted ; and 
thus the few proprietors who hive been able 
to emancipate themselves from the Seignoral 
thraldom sell as fast as they can obtain pur- 
chasers ; and the Seignories lapse, by failure 
of descent or by cutting off the entail, as it 
may be termed, under the dominion of 
foreigners, to the people. 

It is surprising that British capitalists do 
not turn their attention more to Lower 
Canada, where land is thns to be bought very 
cheap, and which only requires manuring, a 
treatment that it rarely recelT^s from a 


Canadian^ to bring it into heart again, and 
where the vast extent of the British town- 
ships, held in free and common soccage, opens 
snch a field for the agriculturist. 

These townships are rapidly opening up 
and improving, and the sales of the Bri- 
tish American Land Company may in round 
numbers be said to average j820,000 a year, 
or more than 40,000 acres, averaging ten 
shillings an acre. 

The day's wages for a labourer on a farm 
in Lower Canada may be stated at two shil- 
lings currency, about one shilling and eight- 
pence sterling, with food and lodging ; but^ 
excepting in the towns and in the eastern 
townships, the labourers are Canadians, else- 
where chiefly Irish. In the large towns aldo 
they are Irish, and two shillings and sixpence 
is the usual price of a day's work at Mont- 

There is a great demand for English or 
Scotch labourers in the townships where pro^ 
visions are reasonable, and the materials for 
building, either lime, stone, brick, or wood. 


•also very moderate in price from their abun- 

Cultivated^ or rather cleared, farms may 
be purchased now near the settlements for 
about six pounds per acre, with very often 
dwelling and farms on them, and a clear title 
may be readily obtained, after inquiry at the 
registry office of the county, to see whether 
any mortgage or other encumbrance exist — 
a course always to be adopted, both in Upper 
and Lower Canada. A settler must take the 
precaution of tracing the original grant, and 
that the land, if he buys from an individual, 
is neither Crown nor Clergy reserve, nor set 
apart for school or any other public pur- 
poses. Never buy, moreover, of a squatter, 
or land on which a sqnatter is located, for 
the law is very favourable to these gentry. 

A squatter is a man who, axe iu hand, with 
his gun, dog, and baggage, sets himself down 
in the deep forest, to clear and improve ; and 
this he very frequently does, both upon public 
and private property ; and the Government is 
lenient, so that, if he makes well. of it, he 

E 5 


generally has a right of pre-emption, or per- 
haps pays up only instalments, and then sells 
and goes deeper into the bush. Every way 
there is difficulty about squatted land, and 
very often the squatter will significantly 
enough hint that there is such a thing as a 
rifle in his log castle. Squatters are usually 
Americans, of the very lowest grade, or the 
most ignorant of the Irish, who really believe 
they have a right to the soil they occupy, 

I do not profess to give an account of the 
Eastern Townships; the prospectus of the 
British American Land Company will do 
that ; and, as I have never been through them 
entirely, so I could only advance assertion ; 
but I believe that they are admirably adapted 
for English and Scotch settlers, and that, 
bounded as they are by the French Canadians 
on one side, and by the United States on the 
other, with every facility for roads, canals, and 
railways^ they must become one of the richest 
most and important portions of Canada be- 
fore half a century has passed over ; but it will 
take that time, notwithstanding railways and 


locomotiyes, to make Jean Baptiste a useful 
agriculturist ; and the fly must be eradicated 
from the wheat before Lower Canada can 
ever Come within a gred.t distance of com- 
petition in the flour market with the upper 

Take a steam-boat voyage from Quebec to 
Montreal, and you pass through French 
Canada; for, although there are very ex- 
tensive settlements of the race below Quebec 
till they are lost in the rugged mounteins of 
Gaspesia, yet the main body of habitants rest 
upon the low and tranquil shores of the 
St. Lawrence, for one hundred and eighty 
miles between the Castle of St. Lewis and 
the Cathedral of Montreal. The farm-houses, 
n«at, and invariably whitewashed, line the 
river, particularly on the left bank, like a 
cantonment, and go back to the north for, at 
the utmost, ten or twelve miles into the then 
boundless wilderness. 

The cultivated ground is in narrow slips, 
fenced by the customary snake fence, which is 
nothing more than slabs of treed split coarsely 


into rails, and set up lengthways in a zig- 
zag form to give them stability, with struts, 
or riders, at the angles, to bind them. These 
&rms are about nine hundred feet in width, 
and four or five miles in depth, being the 
concessions or allotments made originally by 
the seigneurs to the censitaires^ or tillers of 
the soil. Every here and there, a long road 
is left, with cross ones, to obtain access to 
the farms, much in the same way, but not 
near so conveniently, or well done, as the 
concession lines in Upper Canada, which 
embrace large spaces of a hundred acre or 
two hundred acre lots, including many of 
these lots, and giving a sixty-six feet or a 
forty foot road, as the case may be, and thus 
dividing the country into a series of large 
parallelograms, and making every farm ac- 

Each Lower French Canadian farmer is an 
independent yeoman, excepting as bound to 
the soil, and to certain seignorial dues and 
privileges, which are, however^ trifling, and 
far from burthensome. Taxes are unknown, 


and they cheerfully support their priest- 

It is not generally known in England that 
the feudal tenure — although very laughable 
and absurd at this time of day, and from 
which some seigneurs, but never those 
of unmixed French blood, are disposed to 
claim titles equivalent to the baronage of 
England, with incomes of about a thousand 
a year, or at most two, and manorial houses, 
resembling very much a substantial Bucking- 
hamshire grazier's chateau— was originally 
established by the French monarchs for. wise, 
highly useful, and benevolent purposes. 

These seigneuries were parcelled out in 
very large tracts of forest along the banks of 
the St. Lawrence, or the rivers and bays of 
Lower Canada, on the condition that they 
should be again parcelled out among those 
who would engage to cultivate them in the 
strips above-mentioned. Thus re-granted, 
the seigneur could not eject the habitant^ but 
was allowed to receive a nominal or feudal 
rent from the vassal, and the usual droits. 


These droits are, first, the barbarous " lods et 
venteSf^^ or one thirteenth of the money upon 
every transfer which the habitant makes by 
sale only ; but the original rent Can never be 
raised, whatever value the land may have 
attained. The rights of the mill, that old 
European appanage of the lord of the soil, 
vtere also reserved to the seigneur, who alone 
can build mills within his domain, or use the 
waters within his boundaries for mochanical 
purposes ; but he must erect them at conve* 
nient distances, and must make and repair 
roads. The miller, thm:<efore, takes toll of the 
grist, which is another source of seignorial 
revenue, although not a very great one, for 
the toll is, excepting the miller's thumb 
rights, not very large. 

The crown of England is the lord para^^ 
mount or suzerain, and demands a tax of one 
fifth of the purchase-money of each seiguory 
sold or transferred by the lord of the manot. 

By law, the lands cannot be subdivided, 
and if a seigneurie is sold it cannot be sold 
in parts, nor can any compromise with the 


habitants for rent, or any other claim or in- 
cumbrance, be made. 

An institution like this paralyzes the resi- 
dent) paralyzes the settler, and destroys that 
aristocracgr for whose benefit it was created ; 
for it prevents the lord of the manor from 
ever becoming Tich, or taking much interest 
in the improvement of his domain ; and thus 
every thing continues as it was a hundred 
years ago. The British emigrant pauses ere 
he buys land thus enthralled ; and almost all 
the old French &milies, who dated from 
Charlemagne, Clovis, or Pepin, from the 
Merovingian or Carlovingian monarchies, 
have disappeared and dwindled away, and 
their places have been supplied by the more 
enterprising, or the nouveau ricke men of the 
old world, or by restless, acute lawyers, and 
metaphysical body^curers. 

It was no wonder, therefore^ that, upon the 
removal of the seat of government from 
Toronto, and the appointment of a governor- 
general untrammelled by the lieutenant gover- 
norship of Western Canada, over which he had 


had before no control, that it should be consi- 
dered desirable by degrees to introduce the 
English land system throughout Canada, and 
that parliamentary inquiry should be made 
into the necessity of abolishing all feudal tax- 
ation. In Montreal' this has been done, and, 
as the seignoral rights of succession lapse, 
it will soon be done every where, for the 
recent enactments have emancipated many 

But no sensible or feeling mind will desire 
to see the French Canadian driven to break 
up all at once habits formed by ages of 
contentment; and, as it does not press upon 
them beyond their ready endurance, why 
should we, to please a few rich capitalists or 
merchants, suddenly force a British popula- 
tion into the heart of French Canada ? 

Jean Baptiste is too good a fellow to desire 
this. On our part, we should not forget his 
truly amiable character ; we should not forget 
the services he rendered to us, when our 
ichildren fought to drive us from our last hold 
on the North American continent ; we should 


not forget his worthy and excellent priest- 
hood ; nor should we ever lose sight of the 
fact, that he is contented under the old sys- 
tem. Above all, we should never forget that 
he fought our battles when his Gallic sires 
joined our revolted children. 

I feel persuaded that, if an unhappy war 
must take place between the United States 
and England, the French Canadians will 
prove, as they did before on a similar occa- 
sion, loyal to a man. 

All animosity, all heart-burning, will be 
forgotten, and the old Frencli glory will 
shine again, as it did under De Salaberry. 

Ma foi, nous ne somraes pas perdus, encore; 
and some hero of the war has only to rouse 
himself and cry, as Roland did, 

Suivez, mon panage 6clatant, 

Fran^ais ainsi que ma banniere ; 

Qii'il soit point du raUiement, 

Vous savez tous quel priz attend 

Le brave, qui dans la carri^re, 

Marche sur le pas de Roland. 

Mourons pour notre patrie 

C*e8t le sort le plus beau et le plus digne d^envie. 



A journey to the Westward. 

We must leave Roncesvalles and La Gloire 
awhile, and, instead of riding a war horse, 
canter along upon the hobby, or a good ser- 
viceable Canadian pony, the best of all hob» 
bies for seeing the Canadian world, and on 
which mettlesome charger we can much better 
instruct the emigrant than by long prosings 
about political economy and systematic colo- 

So, en avant ! I am going to relate the 
incidents of a journey last summer to the 
Westward, and to give all the substance of 
my observations on men and things made 

I left Kingston on the 26th of Jane, in the 
Princess Royal mail steamer, at 8 p. m.,'the 


usual hour of starting being seven, for To- 
ronto; the weather unusually cold. 

This fine boat constitutes, with two others, 
the City of Toronto and the Sovereign, the 
royal mail line between Kingston and Toronto. 
All are built nearly alike, are first class sea- 
boats, and low pressure ; they combine, with 
the Highlander, the Canada, and the Gilders- 
leave, also splendid vessels, to form a mail 
route to Montreal — ^the latter boats taking 
-the mail as far as Coteau du Lac, forty-five 
miles from Montreal, on which route a smaller 
vessel, the Chieftain, plies, wherein you sleep, 
. at anchor, of rather moored, till daylight, if 
going down, or going upwards, on bod,rd the 
mail boat. 

Passengers go from Montreal to Kingston 
by the mail route in twenty-four hours, a dis- 
tance of 180 miles; a small portion, between 
the Cascades Rapids and the Coteau being 
traversed in a coach, on a planked road as 
smooth as a billiard-table. 

From Kingston to Toronto, or nearly the 
whole length of Lake Ontario, takes sixteen 


hours, the hoat leaving at seven, and arriving 
about or before noon next day; performing 
the passage at the rate of eleven miles an 
hour, exclusively of stoppages. 

The transit between Montreal and Kingston 
is at the rate, including stoppage for daylight, 
the river being dangerous, of eight miles an 
hour ; thus, in forty hours, the passenger 
passes from the seat of government to the 
largest city of Western Canada most comfort- 
ably, a journey which twenty years ago it al- 
ways took a fortnight, and often a month, to 
accomplish, in the most precarious and uncom- 
fortable manner — on board small, roasting 
steamers, crowded like a cattle-pen — in 
lumbering leathern conveniences, miscalled 
coaches, over roads which enter not into the 
dreams of Britons — by canoes — by bateaux, 
(a sort of coal barges,) — ^by fichoooers, where 
the cabin could never permit you to display 
either your length, your breadth, or your 
thickness, and thus reducing you to a point 
in creation, according to Euclid and his com- 


Your compagnons de voyagCy on board a 
bateau or Darham boat, which was a monstre 
bateau, were French Canadian voyageurs, al- 
ways drunk and always gay, who poled you 
along up the rapids, or rushed down them 
with what will be will be. 

These happy people had a knack of ez«* 
amining your goods and chattels, which they 
were conveying in the most admirable man- 
ner, and with the utmost san^'froid ; but still 
they were above stealing — they only tapped 
the rum cask or the whiskey barrel, and appro- 
priated any cordage wherewith you bound 
your chests and packages. I never had a 
chest, box, or bale sent up by bateau or Dnr* 
ham boat that escaped this rope mail. 

By the by, the Durham boat, a long decked 
barge, square ahead, and square astern, has 
vanished ; Ericson's screw-propellers have 
crushed it. It was neither invented by nor 
named after Lord Durham, but was as ancient 
as Lambton House itself. 

The way the conductors of these boats 
found out vinous liquors was, as brother Jon* 
athan so playfully observes, a caution. 


I have known an instance of a cask of wine, 
which, for security from climate, had an outer 
case or cask strongly secured oyer it, with au 
interior space for neutralizing frost or heat, 
bored so carefully that you could never dis- 
cover how it had been effected, and a very 
considerable quantum of beverage extracted. 

I once had a small barrel, perhaps twenty 
gallons of commisaariat West India ration 
rum, the best of all rum for liqueurs, sucked 
dry. Of course, it had leaked, but I never 
could discover the leak, and it held any liquid 
very well afterwards. 

I know the reader likes a story, and as this 
is not by any means an historical or scientific 
work, excepting always the geological portion 
thereof, I will tell him or her, as the case may 
be, a story about ration rum. 

There was a funny fellow, an Irish auc- 
tioneer at Kingston, some years ago, called 
Paddy Moran, whom all the world, priest and 
parson, minister and methodist, soldier and 
sailor, tinker and tailor, went to hear when 
he mounted his rostrum. 



He was selling the goods of a qnarter- 
master-geoeral who was leaving the place. 
At last he came to the cellar and the rum. 
"Now, gintlemin," saysMoran, "I advise yon 
to buy this rum, 7^- 6d. a gallon! going, 
going ! Gintlemin, I was once a sojer — don't 
laugh, you officers there, for I was — ^and a 
sirjeant into the bargain. It wasn't in the 
Irish militia — bad luck to you, liftenant, for 
laughing that way, it will spoil the rum ! I 
was the tip-top of the sirjeants of the regi* 
ment — long life to it ! Yes, I was quarter- 
master-sirjeant, and hadn't I the sarving out 
of the rations ; and didn't I know what good 
ration rum was ; and didn't I help meself to 
the prime of it ! Well, then, gintlemin and 
ladies — I mane. Lord save yees, ladies and 
gintlemin — ^if a quarter-master-sirjeant in the 
army had good rum, what the devil do you 
think a quarter-master-general gets ?" 

The rum rose to fifteen shillings per gallon 
at the next bid. 

You can have every convenience on board 
a Lake Ontario mail-packet, which is about as 


large as a small frigate, and has the usual sea 
equipment of masts, s^^ils, and iron rigging. 
The fare is five dollars in the cabin, or about 
£l sterling ; and two dollars in the steerage. 
In the former you have tea and breakfast, in 
the latter nothing but what is bought at 
the bar. By paying a dollar extra you may 
have a state-room on deck, or rather on the 
half^deck, where you find a good bed, a large 
looking-glass, washing-stand and towels, and 
a night-lamp, if required. The captains are 
generally part owners, and are kind, obliging, 
and communicative, sitting at the head of 
their table, where places for females and fa- 
milies are always reserved. The stewards 
and waiters are coloured people, clean, neat, 
and active ; and you may give sevenpence- 
halfpenny or a quarter-dollar to the man who 
cleans your boots, or an attentive waiter, if 
you like ; if not, you can keep it, as they are 
well paid. 

The ladies' cabin has generally a large 
cheval glass and a piano, with a white lady 
to wait, who is always d^cked out in flounces 


aud furbelows, and usually good-looking. AU 
you have got to do on embarking or on disem- 
barking is to see personally to your luggage ; 
for leaving it to a servant unacquainted with 
the country will not do. At Kingston, mat- 
ters are pretty well arranged, and the carters 
are not so very impudent, and so ready to push 
you over the wharf; but at Toronto they 
are very so so, and want regulating by the 
police; and in the States, at Buffalo partii- 
cularly, the porters and carters are the most 
presuming and insolent serviles I ever met 
with ; they rush in a body on board the boat, 
and respect neither persons nor things. 

I knew an American family composed chiefly 
of females, travelling to the Falls ; and these 
ladies had their baggage taken to a train going 
inland, whilst they were embarking on board 
the British boat which was to convey them to 
Chippewa in Canada. 

The comfort of some of these boats, as they 
call them, but which ought to be called ships^ 
is very great. There is a regular drawing** 
room on board on^ caU0d the Chief Justice. 

VOL. I. F 

98 . CAKAbA AND 

where I saw, just after the horticultural show 
at Toronto, pots of the most rare and beauti- 
ful iBowers, arranged yery tastefully, with a 
piano, highly-coloured nautical paintings and 
portraits, and a tout ensemble^ which, when 
the lamps were lit, and conversation going on 
between the ladies and gentlemen then and 
there assembled, made one quite forget we 
were at sea on Lake Ontario, the " Beautiful 
Lake," which, like other beautiful creations, 
can be very angry if vexed. 

The Americans have very fine steam vessels 
on their side of the lake, but they are fiimsuly 
constructed, painted glaringly, white, and 
green, and yellow, without comfort or good 
attendance, and with a devil-may-care sort of 
captain, who seems really scarcely to know or 
to care whether he has passengers or has not, 
a scrambling hurried meal, and divers other 

He American gentry always prefer the 
British boats, for two good reasons ; they see 
Queen Victoria's people, and they meet with 
the utmost civility, attention, and comfort* 


They sit down to dinner, or breakfast^ or tea, 
like Christian men and women, where there is 
BO railway eating and drinking ; where due 
time is spent in refreshing the body and 
spirits ; and where people help each other, or 
the waiters help them, at table, without a 
scramble, like hogs, for the best and the 
most — a custom which all travelled Ameri- 
cans detest and abominate as much as the 
most fastidious Englishman. 

It is not unusual at hotel dinners, or on 
board steamers, to see a man, I cannot call 
him a gentleman, sitting next a female, totally 
neglect her, and heap his plate with fish, with 
flesh, with pie, with pudding, with potato, 
with cranberry jam, with pickles, with salad, 
with all and every thing then within his reach, 
swallow in a trice all this jnmble of edibles, 
jump up and vanish. 

Can such a being have a stomach, or a 
digestion, and must he not necessarily, about 
thirty-five years of age, be yellow, spare, and 
parchment-skinned, with angular projections, 
and a prodigious tendency to tobacco ? 

F 3 


An American gentleman — mind, I lay a stress 
upon the second word — never bolts bis victuals, 
never picks bis teeth at table, never spits upon 
the carpet, or guesses ; he knows not gin-sling, 
and he eschews mint-julep ; but he does, I am 
ashamed to say, admire a sherry cobbler, par- 
ticularly if he does not get a second-hand 
piece of vermicelli to suck it through. Reader, 
do you know what a sherry cobbler is ? I will 
enlighten you. Let the sun shine at about 
80^ Fahrenheit. Then take a lump of ice ; 
fix it at the edge of a board ; rasp it with 
a tool made like a drawing knife or carpen* 
ter*s plane, set face upwards. Collect the 
iraspings, the fine raspings, piind, in a capacious 
tumbler ; pour thereon two glasses of good 
sherry, and a good spoonful of powdered white 
sugar, with a few small bits, not slices, but 
bits of lemon, about as big as a gooseberry., 
Stir with a wooden macerator. Drink through 
a tube of macaroni or vermicelli. (Test Veau 
benitej as the English lord said to the gar f on 
at the Milles Colonnes, when he first tasted 
real par/ait amour. ^"^—CT est beaucoup mietup^ 


Milor, answered the waiter with a profound 

Gin-sling, cock-tail, mint-julep, are about 
as vulgar as blue ruin and old torn at home ; 
but sherry cobbler is an affair of consideration 
—only never pound your ice, always rasp it. 

It is a custom on board the Canadian 
steamers for gentlemen to call for a pint of 
wine at dinner, or for a bottle, according to 
the strength of the party ; but it is a custom 
more honoured in the breach than the ob- 
servance ; for sherry and port are the usual 
stock, both fiery as brandy, and costing the 
moderate price of seven shillings and sixpence 
a bottle, the steward having laid the same in 
at about one shilling and eight pence, or at 
most two shillings. Why this imposition, 
the only one you meet with in travelling in 
Canada at hotels or steamboats, is perpetrated 
and perpetuated, I could never learn. 

Many American gentlemen, however, en- 
courage it, and have told me that they do so 
because they get no good port in the States. 
Ale and porter are charged two shillings and 


sixpence a bottle, which is double their worth. 
Be careful also not to drink freely of the iced 
water, which is always supplied ad libitum. Few 
EuK^peans escape the effects of water-drink- 
ing when ^y land at Quebec, Montreal, 
Kingston, Toronto, &c. There is something 
peculiar, which has nerer yet been satisfac- 
torily explained by medical men, in the sudden 
attack upon the system produced by the 
waters of Canada : this is sometimes slight, 
but more often lasts several days, and reduces 
the strength a good deal. Iced water is worse, 
and produces country cholera. The Ameri- 
cans use ice profusely, and drink such draughts 
of iced water, that I have been astonished at 
the impunity with which they did so. 

Perhaps the change from a moist sea 
atmosphere to the dry and desiccating air of 
Canada, where iron does not rust, may be one 
cause of the malady alluded to, and another, 
in addition to the water, the difference of 
cookery; for here, at public tables and on 
board the boats generally, where black cooks 
prevail^ all is butter and grease. 


Bat the change of climate is tindoabtedly 
great. Z had Veen long an inhabitant of 
Upper Canada^ and fancied myself seasoned ; 
but, haying returned to England, and spending 
efterwaids two or three years in the exces- 
sively humid air of the sea-coast of New- 
foundland at St. Johns, where I became some- 
what stout, on my return to Upper Canada, 
for want of a little preparatory caution in 
medicine, although naturally of a spare habit, 
I was seized with a Tiolent bleeding at the 
nose, which baffled all remedies for several 
months, until artificial mineral water and a 
copious use of solutions of iron stopped it* 
No doubt this prevented the fever of the 
lakes, and was owing to the dryness of the air. 
J mention this to caution all new-comers, young 
and old, to take timely advice and medicine. 

There is another complaint in Upper Canada, 
which attacks the settler very soon after his 
arrival, especially if young, and that is worms ; 
a disorder very prevalent at all times in 
Canada, particularly among the poorer classes, 
and probably owing to food. 


These, with ague and colic, or country 
cholera, are the chief evils of the clime ; few 
are, however, fatal, excepting the lake fever, 
and that principally among children. 

The sportsman should recollect, in so 
marshy and woody a country, subject as it 
is to the most surprising alternations of tem- 
perature, that instead of minding that cele- 
brated rule, " Keep your powder dry," he 
should read, " Keep your feet dry." Dry 
feet and the avoidance of sitting in wet or 
damp clothes, or drinking iced watfer when 
hot, or of cooling yourself in a delicious 
draught of air when in a perspiration, are the 
best precautions against ague, fever, colic, or 
cholera — ^in a country where the thermometer 
reaches 90* in the shade, and sometimes 1 lO*', 
as it did last summer, and S?"" below zero in 
the winter, with rapid alternations embracing 
such a range of the scale as is unknown 

In the country places, in travelling, you 
will invariably find that windows are very 
little attended to, and that the head of your 


bed, or the side of it, is placed against a 
loosely-fitting broken sash. The night-fogs 
and damps are highly dangerous to new* 
comers ; so act accordingly. 

Fleas and bugs, and ^^snch small deer," 
you must expect in every inn you stop at, 
even in the cities ; for it appears — and in- 
deed I did not know the fact until tjiis year 
— that bugs are indigenous, native to the soil, 
and breed in the bark of old trees ; so that 
if you build a new house, you bring the 
enemy into your camp. Nothing but clean- 
liness and frequent whitewash, colouring, 
paint, and soft soap, will get rid of them. 
If it were not for the strong smell of red 
cedar and its extreme brittleness, I would 
have my bedstead of that material ; for even 
the iron bedsteads, in the soldiers' barracks, 
become infested with them if not painted 
often. Red cedar they happily eschew. 

Travellers may talk as they please of mos* 
quitoes being the scourge of new countries ; 
the bugs in Canada are worse, and the black 
fly and sand-fly superlatively superior in an- 



noyance. The black fly exists in the ne^h- 
bourhood of riyeis or swamps, and attacks 
you behind the ear» drawing a pretty copiou3 
supply of blood at each bite. The sand*fly, 
as its name imports, exists in sandy soil, and 
is so small that it cannot be seen without 
. close inspection ; its bite is sharp and fiery. 

Then the fanner has the wheat-fly and 
the t^mip-fly to contend against ; the former 
has actually devoured Lower Canada, and the 
latter has obliged me in a garden to sow 
several successive crops. The melon-bug is 
another nuisance; it is a small winged 
animal, of a bright yellow colour, striped with 
black bars, and takes up its abode in the 
flower of the melon and pumpkin, breeding 
fast, jand destroying wherever it settles, for 
young plants are literally eaten up by it. 

The grub, living under ground in the day- 
time, and allying forth at night, is a fero- 
cious enemy to cabbage-plants, lettuce, and 
most of the young, tender vegetables ; but, 
by taking a lantern and a pan after dark, the 
gentlemen can be collected whilst on their 


tottr, and poultry are very fond of them* 
Last year, the potato crop failed throughout 
Canada. What a singular dispensation ! — ^for 
it alike suffered in Europe, and no doubt the 
malady was atmospheric. The hay erop, too, 
suffered severely ; but still, by a merciful 
Proyidence, the wheat and com harvest was 
ample, and gathered in a month before the 
customary time. 

By the word com I mean oats, rye, and 
barley ; but in the Canadas and in the United 
States that word means maize or Indian-corn 
only, which in Canada, last summer, was not, 
I should think, even an average crop. It is 
extensively used here for food, as well as 
buckwheat, and for feeding poultry. 

But to our journey westward. I arrived 
at Toronto on the 27th of June, and found 
the weather had changed to variable and fine^ 

On steaming up the harjbour, I was greatly 
surprised and very much pleased to see such 
an alteration as Toronto has undergone for 
the better since 1887- Then, although a 
flourishing village, be-citied, to be sure, it 


was not one third of its present size. Now 
it is a city in earnest, with upwards of twenty 
thousand inhabitants — gas-lit, with good 
plank side-walks and macadamized streets, 
and with vast sewers, and fine houses, of brick 
or stone. The main street. King Street, is 
two miles and more in length, and would not 
do shame to any town, and has a much more 
English look than most Canadian places have. 
Toronto is still the seat of the Courts of 
Law for Western Canada, of the University 
of King^s College, of the Bishopric of Toronto, 
and of the Indian Office. Kingston has re* 
tained the militia head-quarter office, and the 
Principal Emigrant Agency, with the Naval 
and Military grand depdts ; so that the re- 
moval of the seat of Government to Montreal 
has done no injury to Toronto, and will do 
very little to Kingston : in fact, I believe 
firmly that, instead of being injurious, it will 
be very beneficial. The presence of Govern- 
ment at Kingston gave an unnatural stimulus 
to speculation among a population very far 
from wealthy; and buildings of the most 


frail construction were run up in hundreds, 
for the sake of the rent which they yielded 

The plan upon which these houses were 
erected was that of mortgage ; thus almost 
all are now in possession of one person who 
became suddenly possessed of the requi* 
site means by the sale of a large tract re* 
quired for military purposes. But this 
species of property seldom does the owner 
good in his lifetime ; and, if he does reclaim 
it, there is no tenant to be had now ; so that 
the building decays, and in a very short time 
becomes an inQumbrance. Mortgages only 
thrive where the demand is superior and 
certain to the investment ; and then, if all 
goes smoothly, mortgager and mortgagee 
may benefit ; bnt where a mechanic or a 
storekeeper, with little or no capital, under- 
takes to run up an extensive range of houses 
to meet an equivocal demand, the result is 
obvious. If the houses he builds are of stone 
or brick, and well finished, the man who 
loans the money is the gainer ; if they are of 


wood, indifferently constructed and of green 
^ materials^ both mjist suffer. So it is a spe- 

culation, and, like all speculations, a good 
deal of repudiation mixes up with it. 

There are two good houses of entertain- 
ment for the gentlenoan traveller in Toronto ; 
the Club House in Chewett's Buildings and 
Macdonald's Hotel. In the former, a bache- 
lor will find himself quite at home ; in the 
latter, a family man will haye no reason to 
regret his stay. 

But serrants at Toronto— by which I mean 
attendants — are about on a par with the same 
race all over Canada. The coloured people 
are the best, but never make yourself de- 
pendent on either; for, if you are to start by 
the stage or the steamer, depend on your 
watch, instead of upon your boots being 
cleaned or your shaying-water being ready. 
In the latter case, shave with cold water by 
the light of your candle, lit by your own 
lucifer match. They are civil, however, and 
attentive, as far as the very free and easy 
style of their acquirements will permit them ; 


for a cook will leave at a moment^s notice, if 
she can better herself; and any trivial oc- 
carrence will call off the waiter and the 
hoots* The only punctual people are the 
porters ; and, as they wear glazed hats, with 
the name of the hotel emblazoned thereon, 
frigate-fashion, you can always find them. 

An excellent arrangement is the omnibus 
attached to the hotels in Canada West, which 
conveys you cost-free to and from the steam* 
boat, and a very comfortable wooden con- 
venience it is, resembling very much the vans 
which, in days of yore, plied near London. 

My first start from Toronto was to Ultima 
Thule, Penetanguishene, a locality scarcely 
to be found in the maps, and yet one of much 
importance, situate and being north-north- 
west of the city some hundred and eight 
miles, on Lake Huron. 

The route is per coach to St. Alban's, thirty 
and three miles, along Yonge Street, of 
whioh about one-third is macadamized from 
granite boulders ; the rest mud and etceteras, 
too numerous to mention. Yonge Street is a 
continuous settlement, with an occasional 


sprinkling of the original forest. The land 
on each side is fertile, and supplies Toronto 

It rises gradually by those singular steps, 
or ridges, formerly banks or shores of ante- 
diluvian oceans, till it reaches the vicinity 
of the Holland river, a tortuous, sluggish, 
marshy, natural canal, flowing or lazily 
creeping into Lake Simcoe, at an elevation of 
upwards of seven hundred and fifty feet above 
Lake Ontario, and emptying itself into Lake 
Huron by a series of rapids, called the 
Matchedash or Severn River. 

The first quarter of the route to St. 
Alban's is a series of country-houses, gentle- 
men's seats, half-pay oflScers' farms, prettily 
fenced, and pleasant to the sight : the next 
third embraces Thomhill, a nice village 
in a hollow ; Richmond Hill, with a beautiful 
prospect and detached settlements : the ulti- 
mate third is a rich, undulating country, 
inhabited by well-to-do Quakers, with New- 
market on their right, and looking for all the 
world very like " dear home," with orchards, 
and as rich corn-fields and pastures as may be 

THte CANADL4NS. 1 1 S 

s6en aiiy where, backed, however, by the 
eternal forest. It is peculiarly and particu- 
larly beautiful. 

A short distance before reaching St. Al* 
ban's, which is quite a new village, the road 
descends rapidly, and the ground is broken 
into hummocks. 

But I must not forget Bond's Lake, a most 
singular feature of this part of the road, 
which, perhaps, I shall treat of in returning 
from Penetanguishene, as I am now in a hurry 
to get to St. Alban's. 

Here, where all was scrub forest in 1837, 
are a little street, a house of some pretension 
occupied by Mr. Laughton, the enterprising 
owner of the Beaver steamboat, plying on 
Lake Simcoe, and two inns. 

I stopped for the night, for Yonge Street 
is still a tiresome journey, although only 
a stage of thirty three miles, at Winch's 
Tavern. This is a very good road-side house, 
and the landlord and landlady are civil and 
attentive. Before you go to roost, for stop- 
ping by the way-side is pretty much like 


roosting, as you must be up with Chanticleer, 
you can just look over Mr. Laughton's 
paling, and you will see as pretty a florist's 
display as may be imagined. The owner is 
fond of flowers, and he has lots of them, and, 
when you make his acquaintance afterwards 
in the Beaver, you will find that he has lots 
of information also. But I did not go in 
the Beaver, which ship " wharfs" some two 
or three miles further ahead, at Holland Biveir 
Landing, commonly called " the Landing,*' 
par excellence. Here flies, mosquitoes, ague, 
an^d other plagues, are so rife, that all 
attempts at settlemenjb are vanity and vexa- 
tion of spirit. 

So, being willing to see what bad happened 
in Gwillimbury since 1887, 1 took a waggon 
and the land road, and went off as day broke, 
or rather before it broke, about four a^m., in 
a deep gray mist. The waggon should be 
described, as it is the best voiture in Wes- 
tern Canada* 

Four wheels, of a narrow tire, are attached 
without any springs to a long body, formed 


of straight boards, like a piano-case, only 
more clumsy; in which, resting on inside 
rims or battens, are two seats, with or with- 
out backs, generally withont, on which, 
perhaps, a hay-cnshion, or a buffalo-skin, or 
both, are placed. Two horses, good, bad, or 
indifferent, as the case may be, the positive 
and comparative degrees being the common- 
est, drag you along with a clever driver, who 
can turn his hand to chopping, carpentering, 
wheelwright's work, playing the fiddle, drink- 
ing, or any other sort of thing, and is usually 
an Irishman or an Irishman's son. For two 
dollars and a half a day he will drive you to 
Melville Island, or Parry's Sound, if you 
will only stick by him ; and he jogs along, 
smoking his dudeen, over corduroy roads, 
through mud holes that would astonish a 
cockney, and over sand and swamp, rocks and 
rough places enough to dislocate every joint 
in your body, all his own being anchylosed 
or used to it, which is the same thing, in the 

He will keep you au courant, at the same 


time, tell the name of every settler and settle- 
ment, and some good stories to boot. He is 
a capital fellow, is " Paddy the driver," ge- 
nerally a small farmer, and always has- a 
contract with the commissariat. 

The first place of any note we came to, as 
day broke out of the blue fog which rose 
from the swampy forest, was Holland River 
Bridge, an extraordinary structure, half 
bridge, half road, over a swamp created by 
that river in times long gone by; a level 
tract of marsh and wild rice as far as the 
eye can reach, full of ducks and deer, with 
the Holland River in the midst, winding 
about like a serpentine canal, and looking as 
if it had been fast asleep since its last shake 
of the ague. 

Crossing this bridge-road, now in good 
order, but in 1837 requiring great dexterity 
and agility to pass, you come to a slight ele- 
vation of the land, and a little village in 
West Gwillimbury, which, I should think, is 
a capital place to catch lake-fever in. 

The road to it is good, but, after passing 


it and taming northwards, is bat little im- 
proved, being very primitive through the 
township of Innisfil. However, we jogged 
along in mist and rain, on the S9th of June, 
and saw the smoke, ay, and smelt it too, of 
numerous clearings or forest burnings, indi- 
cating settlement, till we reached Wilson's 
Tavern, where, every body having the ague, 
it was somewhat difficult to get breakfast. 
This is thirteen miles from St. Alban's. 

Having refreshed, however, with such as it 
was, we visited Mr. Wilson's stable, and saw 
a splendid stud horse which he was rearing, 
and as handsome a thorough-bred black as 
you CO old wish to see in the backwoods. 

Proceeding in rain, we drove, by what in 
England would be called an execrable road, 
through the townships of Innisfil and Vespra 
to Barrie, the capital hamlet of the district 
of Simcoe. 

On emerging from the woods three or 
four miles from Barrie, Kempenfeldt Bay 
suddenly appears before you, and if the road 
was better, a more beautiful ride there is not 


in all broad Canada. Fancy, however, that, 
without any Hibemicism, the best road is in 
the water of the lake. This is owing to the 
swampy nature of the land, and to the cir- 
cumstance that a belt of hard sand lines the 
edge of the bay ; so Paddy drove smack into 
the water of Kempenfeldt, and, as he said,, 
sure we were travelling by water every way, 
for we had a deluge of rain above, and Lake 
Simcoe under us. 

But natheless we arrived at Barrie by 
midday,- a very fair journey of twenty-eight 
miles in eight hours, over roads, as the French 
say, inconcevahle ; and alighted like river 
gods at the Queen's Arms, J. Bingham, 

Barrie, named after the late commodore. 
Sir Robert Barrie, is no common village, nor 
is the Queen's Arms a common hostel. It is 
a good, substantial, stone edifice, fitted up 
and kept in a style which neither Toronto nor 
Kingston, nay, nor Montreal can rival, as far 
as its extent goes* I do assure you, it is a 
perfect paradise after the road from St. 


Alban'8 ; and, as the Gnlinarj department 19 
unexceptionable, and the beds free from bugs, 
and all neatness and no noise, I will award 
Mrs. Bingham a place in these pages, which 
must of course immortalize her. They are 
English people ; and, when I last visited their 
house, in 1837^ had onlj a log-hut : now they 
are well to do, and have built themselves a 
neat country-house. 

When I first saw Barrie, or rather before 
Barrie was, as I passed over its present site, 
in 1831, there was but one building and a 
little clearance. In 1846, it is fast approach- 
ing to be a town, and will be a city^ as it is 
admirably placed at the bottom of an immense 
inlet of Lake Simcoe, with every capability 
of opening a communication with the new 
settlements of Owen Sound and St. Vincent, 
and the south shore of Lake Huron. 

It has been objected, to this opinion respect- 
ing Barrie, that the Narrows of Lake Simcoe 
is the proper site for " The City of the 
North," as the communication by land, in- 
stead of being thirty-six miles to Penetangui- 


ghene, the best harbour ou Lake Huron, it 
only fourteen, or at most nineteen miles, the 
former taking to Cold Water Creek, and the 
latter to Sturgeon Bay ; but then there is b, 
long and somewhat dangerous transit in the 
shallowest part of the Georgian Bay of Lake 
Huron to Penetanguishene. 

If a railroad was established between 
Barrie and the naval station, this would be 
not only the shortest but the safest route to 
Lake Huron ; for, if Sturgeon Bay is chosen, 
in war-time the transit trade and the despatch 
of stores for the government would be sub- 
jected to continual hindrance and depreda- 
tion from the multitude of islands and hiding- 
places between Sturgeon Bay and Penetan- 
guishene ; whilst, on the other hand, no saga- 
cious enemy would penetrate the country from 
Sturgeon Bay and leave such a stronghold aa 
Penetanguishene in his rear, whereby all his 
vessels and supplies might be suddenly cut 
off, and his return rendered impracticable, 

Barrie is, therefore, well chosen, both as a 
transit town and as the site of naval opera-! 




tions on Lake Simcoe, whenever they may be 

For this reason, government commenced 
the military road between Barrie and Penet- 
anguishene, and settled it with pensioned 
soldiers, and also settled naval and military 
retired or half-pay officers all round Lake 
Simcoe. But, as we shall have to talk a good 
deal about this part of the country, and I 
must return by the road, let us hasten on to 
our night's lodging at the Ordnance Arms, 
kept by the ancient widow of J.' Bruce, an old 

Since 1837» the road, then impassable for 
anything but horses or very small light wag- 
gons, has been much improved, and Faddy 
drove us on, after dinner at Bingham's, through 
the heavy rain a merveiUe ! 

When I passed this road before, what a road 
it was ! or, in the words of the eulogist of the 
great Highland road-maker. General Wade, 

^ Had you seen this road, before it was made, 
You would have lift up jour eyes and blessed** 
Greneral somebody. 

VOL. I. G 


It was necessary, as late as 1837, to take a 
horse; and, placing your valise on another, 
mount the second with a guide. My guide 
was always a French Canadian named Fran* 
90i8; and many an adventure in the inter- 
minable forest have we experienced together ; 
for if Francois had lost his way, we should 
have perhaps reached the Copper-mine River, 
or the Northern Frozen Ocean, and have 
solved the question of the passage from the 
Atlantic to the Pacific, or else we should have 
had a certain convocation of politic wolves or 
bears, busy in rendering us and our horses 
invisible; for, after all, they have the true 
receipt of fern seed, and you can walk about, 
after having suffered transmigration into their 
substance, without its ever being suspected 
that you were either an officer of engineers or 
a Franco-Canadian guide. 

An old and respected officer, once travelling 
this bridle road with Fran9ois and myself, 
and mounted on a better horse than either of 
ours, which was lent to him by the Assistant 
Commissary-General stationed at Penetan- 


guishene, got ahead of us considerably, and, 
by some accident, wandered into the gloomy 
pine forest. Missing him for a quarter of an 
hour, I rode as fast as my horse, which was 
not encumbered with baggage, would go 
ahead, and, observing fresh tracks of a horse's 
shoes in the mud, followed them until I heard 
in the depths of the endless and solemn woods 
faint shouts, which, as I came nearer to them, 
resolved themselves into the syllables of my 
name. ' I found my chief, and begged him 
never again, as he had never been there before, 
to think of leaving us. Had he gone out of 
sound, his fate would have been sealed, unless 
the horse, used as it was to the path, had 
wandered into it again ; but horses and cattle 
are frequently lost in these solitudes, and, 
perhaps being frightened by the smell of the 
wild beasts, or, as man always does when 
lost, they wander in a circle, and thus fre- 
quently come near the place from which they 
started, but not sufficiently so to hit the 
almost invisible path. 

But although the road, excepting in the 

G 9 


middle of summer, is still indiffereDt, it is 
perfectly safe, and a lady may now go to 
Penetanguishene comparatively comfortably. 

Bruce's tavern is a respectable log-house, 
twelve miles from Barrie ; and here yott esu 
get the usual fare of ham, eggs» sumT chickens, 
with occasionally fresh- meat from Barrie, and 
perhaps as good a bed as can be had iir 
Canada, We started from Barrie al balf-past 
two, Q.nd arrived at half-past ftve. 

Whiskey, be it known, with very atrocious 
brandy, is the only b^rerage, excepting water, 
along the country roads of Canada. 

From Bruce's we drove to Dawson's, also 
kept by the widow of an old soldier, where 
every thing" is equally clean, respectable, and 
comfortable. It is seven miles distant. 

Beyond this is NicolPs, near a corduroy 
swamp road ; and three miles further (which 
place eschew), seven years ago, I heard the, 
landlady's voice chiding a little girl, who had 
been sent a quarter of a mile for a jug of 
Water. I heard the same voice again in 
action, and for t]xe same cause, and a very 


dirty urchin again brought some very dirty 
water. In fact, whiskey was too plentiful and 
water too scarce. 

From NicoU's to JefTs Comer is ten long 
and weary miles, five or six of which are 
through the forest. JefTs is not a tavern, so 
that you must go to bait the horses to Des 
Hommes, about two miles further, where there 
is no inducement to stay, it being kept by an 
old French Canadian, who has a large family 
of half*breeds. Therefore, on to the village 
of Penetanguishene, which is twenty miles 
from Bruce*s, or some say twenty-four. We 
started from Bruce's at half-past three in the 
morning, and reached " The Village," as it is 
always called, at half-past twe]ve, on the 
30th of June, and the rain still continuing 
ever since we left Toronto. Thus, with great 
expedition, it took the best portion of three 
days for a transit of only 108 miles. This 
has been done in twenty-four hours by another 
route, as I shall explain on my return. 

Penetanguishene is a small village which 
has not progressed in the same ratio as the 


military road to it has done. It is peopled 
by French Canadians, Indians, and half-breeds, 
and is very prettily situated at the bottom of 
the harbour. Lieutenant- Colonel Pbillpotts, 
of the Royal Engineers, selected this site 
after the peace of 1815, when Drummond's 
Island on Lake Huron was resigned to the 
Americans, for an asylum for such of the Ca* 
nadian French settled there as would not 
transfer their allegiance. They migrated in 
a body. 

This is the nearest point of Western Canada 
at which the traveller from Europe can ob- 
serve the unmixed Indian, the real wild man 
of the woods, with medals hanging in his ears, 
as large as the bottom of a silver saucepan, 
rings in his nose, the single tuft of hair on 
the scalp, eagle's plumes, a row of human 
scalps about his neck, and the other amiable 
etceteras of «a painted and greased sauvage. 

Here also you first see the half-breed, the 
offspring of the white and red, who has all 
the bad qualities of both with very few of the 
good of either, except in rare instances. 





The French Canadian. 

At Penetanguishene you see the original 
pioneer of the West^ that nnmistakeable 
French Canadian, a goodnatared, indolent) 
man, who is never active but in his canoe 
singing, or a la chassCj a true voyageuVy of 
which type of human society the marks are 
wearing out fast, and the imprint will ere 
long be illegible. It makes me serious, in- 
deed, to contemplate the Canadian of the old 
dominant race, and I shall enter a little into 
his history. 

Res ardua vetustis novitatem dare; and 
never could an author impose upon himself a 
greater task than that of endeavouring suc- 
cinctly to trace such a history, in this age of 
railroads and steam-vessels, or to bring before 


the mind's eye events which have long slum- 
bered in oblivion, but which it behoves think- 
ing minds not to lose sight of. 

Man is now a locomotive animal, both as 
regards the faculties of mind and of motion ; 
unless in the schools, in the cabinet, or in 
amusing fictions founded on fact, he rarely 
finds leisure to think about a forgotten 

Canada and Canadian affairs have, how- 
ever, succeeded in interesting the public of 
America and the public of Europe-^ the 
" go-ahead " English reader in the New 
World — because Canada would be a very 
desirable addition to the already overgrown 
Republic founded by the Pilgrim Fathers and 
Europeans; because French interest looks 
with a somewhat wistful eye to the race 
which at one time peopled and governed so 
large a portion of the Columbian continent. 
Regrets, mingling with desires, are power- 
ful stimulants. An unconquerable and 
natural jealousy exists in France that England 
should have succeeded in laying the founda- 


tions of aa empire, which bids fair to per- 
petaate tba glories of the Anglo-Saxon race 
in its Transatlantic dominion ; whilst the 
true Briton, on the other hand, regards Ca- 
iuiida as the apple of his eye, and sees with 
pleasure and with pride that his beloved 
country, forewarned by the grand error com- 
mitted at Boston, and so prophetically de- 
nounced by Chatham, has obtained a fairer 
and more fertile field for British legitimate 

Tocqueyille, a sensible and somewhat im- 
partial writer, is the only political foreign 
reasoner who has done justice to Canada; 
but it is par parenthese only ; and even his 
powers of mind and of reasoning, nurtured as 
they have been in republicanism, fail to con- 
vince fearless hearts that democracy is a 
human necessity. 

That the American nation will endeavour 
to put a wet blanket over the nascent fires of 
Spanish ambition in the miserable new States 
of the Northern Continent, and to absorb 
them in the stars of Columbia, the^re can be 

G 5 


no doubt. California, the most distant of 
the old American settlements of Spain, has 
felt already the bald eagle's claw ; Texas is 
annexed ; and unless European interests pre* 
vent it, which they must do, Mexico, Guate- 
mala, Yucatan, and all the petty priest-ridden 
republics of the Isthmus, must follow, and 
that too yery soon. 

But what do the people of the United 
States, (for the government is not a particeps, 
save by force,) pretend to effect by their 
enormous sovereignty? The control pro- 
bably of the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards is 
the grand object, and, to effect this, Canada 
and Nova Scotia stand in the way, and Canada 
and Nova Scotia are therefore marked down 
as other Stars in the American galaxy. 

The Russian empire is cited, as a case in 
point, for immense extension being no obstacle 
to central coercion, or government, if the 
term be more pleasing. 

We forget that each individual State of the 
present Union repudiates centralization, and 
acts independently. Little Maine wanted to 


go to war with mighty England on its own, 
bottom ; and there was a rebellion in Lesser 
Rhode Island, which puzzled all the diplo- 
matists very considerably. Now let us sketch 
a military picture, and bring out the lights 
and shades boldly. 

Suppose that the United States determines 
upon a war with Great Britain, let us look to 
the consequences. Firstly, an immense re- 
action has taken place in Canada, and a mass 
of growlers, who two years ago would perhaps 
have been neutral, would readily take arms 
now in favour of British institutions, simply 
because " impartiality " has been evinced in 
governing them. 

Next, the French Canadians have no idea 
of surrendering their homes, their laws, their 
language, their altars, to the restless and de- 
structive people whose motto is ** Liberty !" 
but whose mind is "Submission," without 
reservation of creed or colour. 

Then, on the boundless West, innumerable 
Indians, disgusted by the unceremonious 
manner in which the Big Knife has driven 


them out, are ready, at the call of another 
Teeiimseh, to hoist the red-cross flag. 

In the South, the negro, already taught 
very carefully by the North a lesson of eman- 
cipation, only waits the hour to commence a 
servile and horrible war, worse than that 
exercised by the poor Cherokees and Creeks 
in Florida, which, miserable as were the num- 
bers, scanty the resources, and indomitable 
the courage, defied the united means and 
skill of the American armies to quell. 

A person who ponders on these matters 
deplores the infatuation of the mob, or of the 
western backwoodsmen, who advocate war to 
the knife with England ; for, should it un- 
happily, occur and continue, war to the knife 
it must be. 

American orators have asserted that Eng- 
land, base as she is, dare not, in this enlight- 
ened age, let loose the blacks. I fear that^ 
self-defence being the first law of Nature, 
rather than lose Canada, and rather than 
not gain it, both England and the United 
States will have recourse to every expedient 


likely to bring the matter to an issue, and 
will abide by that Machiavelian axiom — the 
end sanctifies the means. 

An abominable outcry was raised during 
the last war against the employment of the 
savage Indians with our armies; but the 
loudest in this vituperation forgot that the 
Americans did the same, as far as their 
scanty control over the Red Man permitted, 
and that, where it failed, the barbarous back- 
woodsman completed the tragedy. 

Making razor-strops of Tecumsehs* skin was 
not a very Christian employment, in retalia- 
tion for a scalp found wrapped up in paper 
in the writing-desk of a clerk, when the 
public offices were sacked at Little York. 
The poor man most likely thought it a very 
great curiosity; and I dare say there are 
some in the British Museum, as well as 
preserved heads of the South Sea islanders. 

A war between England and the United 
States is a calamity affecting the whole world, 
and, excepting for political interest, or that 
devouring fire burning in the breasts of so 



many for change, I am persuaded that the 
intelligence of the Union is opposed to it. 
America cannot sweep England from the seaf , 
or blot out its escutcheon from The Temple 
of Fame. It is child's play even to dreaiji of 
it. England is as vitally essential t0 the 
prosperity of America as America is to the 
prosperity of England ; and, although Ame* 
rican feelings are gaining ground in England, 
by which I do not mean that ^e President 
of the United States will ever govern our 
island, but independent lu^Cions and axioms 
similar to those pract«Mied in the Union ; yet 
the time has Birt, nor ever will, arrive, that 
Biitelii ynR succumb to the United States, 
either from policy or fear, any more than 
that her grandchildren, on this side of the 
Atlantic, could pull down the Stars and 
Stripes, and run the meteor flag up to the 
mast-head again. 

The United States is a wonderful confede- 
ration, and Nature seems, in creating that 
people, to have given them constitutions re- 
sembling the summers of the northern portion 



of the New World, where she makes things 
grow ten times as fast as elsewhere. A gn^in 
of wheat takes a decent time to ripen in Eng* 
land, and requires the sweat of the brow and 
the labour of the hands to bring it to per-* 
fdotion; but in North America it becomes 
flour Mid food almost before it is in ear in 
the old country. Nature marches quick in 
America, but is soon exhausted; so her 
people there think Md act ten times as fast 
as elsewhere, and die before they are aged. 
The women are old at thirty, «nd boys of 
fifteen are men ; and so they ripe and ripe, 
and so they rot and rot. 

Everything in the States goes at a railroad 
pace ; every carter or teamster is a Solon, in 
his own idea ; and every citizen is a king 
de factOj for he rules the powers that be. 
They think in America too fast for genius to 
expand to purpose ; and as their digestion is 
impaired by a Napoleonic style of eating, so 
very powerful and very highly cultivated 
minds are comparatively rare in the Union. 
There is no time for study, and they take a 
democratic road to learning. 


And yet, ceteris paribus^ the Union pro- 
daces great men and great minds; and if 
anj thing but dollars was paid attention to, 
the literature of America would soon be upon 
a par with that of the Old World; as it is, 
it pays better to reprint French and English 
authors than to tax the brains of the natives. 

For this reason, the agricultural popula- 
tion of the States are more reasonable, 
more amiable, and more original than those 
engaged in incessant trade. I have seen an 
American farmer in my travels this year, who 
was the perfect image of the English franklin, 
before his daughters wore parasols and 
thrummed the piano. Oh, railways, ye 
have much to answer for ! for, although the 
prosperity of the mass may be increased by 
you, the happiness and contentment of the 
million is deteriorating every day. 

I am not about to write a history of 
Canada at present, for that is already done, 
as far as its military annals are concerned, 
during the three years since I last addressed 
the public ; but it shall yet slumber awhile 
in its box of pine wood, until the time is ripe 


for development : I merely intend here to 
put together some reminiscences which strike 
me as to the part the French Canadian has 
played, and to show that we shoidd neither 
forget nor neglect him. 

Canada, as it is well known, was French, 
both by claim of discovery and by the more 
powerful right of possession. 
' Stimulated by the fame of Cabot, and am- 
bitious to be pilots of the Meta Incognita, 
that visionary channel which was to conduct 
European valour to the golden Cathay and to 
the rich Spice Islands of the East, French 
adventurers eagerly sought the coveted 
honours which such a voyage could not fail 
to yield them, and to combine overflowing 
wealth with chivalric renown. France, Eng- 
land, Spain, Portugal, and Italy, sent forth 
those daring spirits whose hopes were uni- 
formly crushed, either by encountering the 
unbroken line of continental coast, or 
dashed to pieces amidst the terrors of that 
truly Cimmerian region, where ice and fog, 
cold and darkness, contend for empire.. 


Of all those heroic navigators, who would 
have rivalled Columbus under happier cir- 
cumstances, none were successful, even in a 
limited sense, in attempting to reach China 
by the northern Atlantic, excepting the 
French alone, who may fairly be allowed the 
merit of having traversed nearly one half of 
the broadest portion of the New World in the 
discovery of the St. Lawrence and its con- 
necting streams, and in having afterwards 
reached Mexico by the Mississipi. 

Even in our own days, nearly four cen- 
turies after the Columbian era, the idea of 
reaching China by the North Pole has not 
been abandoned, and is actively pursuing by 
the most enlightened naval government in 
the world, and, very possibly, will be 
achieved ; and, as coal exists on the northern 
frozen coasts, we shall have ports established, 
where the British ensign will fly, in the 
realms of eternal frost — nay, more, we shall 
yet place an iron belt from the Atlantic to 
the Pacific, a railroad from Halifax to 
Nootka Sound, and thus reach China in a 
pleasure voyage. 


I recollect that, about twelve years ago, a 
person of very strong mind, who edited the 
" Patriot," a newspaper published at Toronto^ 
Mr, Thomas Dalton, was looked upon as a 
mere enthusiast, because one of his favourite 
ideas, frequently expressed, was, that much 
time would not elapse before the teas and 
silks of China would be transported direct 
from the shores of the Pacific to Toronto, by 
canal, by river, by railroad, and by steam. 

Twelve years have scarcely passed since he 
first broached such an apparently prepos- 
terous notion, as people of limited views uni- 
versally esteemed it ; and yet he nearly lived 
to see an uninterrupted steamboat communi- 
cation from England to Lake Superior — a 
consummation which those who laughed at 
him then never even dreamt of— and now a 
railroad all the way to the Pacific is in pro- 
gress of discussion. 

Mac Taggart, a lively Scotch civil engineer, 
who wrote, in 1829, an amusing work, enti- 
tled " Three Years in Canada," was even 


more sanguine on this subject ; and, as he 
was a clerk of works on the Rideau Canal, 
naturally turned his attention to the practi- 
cability of opening a road by water, by the 
lakes and rivers, to Nootka Sound. 

Two thousand miles of water road by the 
Ottawa, the St. Lawrence, and the Welland, 
has been opened in 1845, and a future gene- 
ration will see the white and bearded stranger 
toiling over the rocky barriers that alone re- 
main to repel his advances between the great 
Superior and the Pacific. A New Simplon 
and a peaceful Napoleonic mind will accom- 
plish this. 

The China trade will receive an impulse ; 
and, as the arms of England have overcome 
those of the Celestial Empire, and we are 
colonizing the outer Barbarian, so shall we 
colonize the shores of the Pacific, south of 
Russian America, in order to retain the supre- 
macy of British influence both in India and in 
China. The vast and splendid forests north 
of the Columbia River will, ere long, furnish 


the dockyards of the Pacific coast with the 
inexhaustible means of extending our com- 
mercial and our military marine. 

And who were the pioneers ? who cleared 
the way for this enterprrse? Frenchmen! 
The hardy, the enduring, the chivalrous Gaul, 
penetrated from the Atlantic, in frail vessels, 
as far as these frail barks could carry him ; 
and where their service ceased, with ready 
courage adopted the still more fragile trans- 
port afforded by the canoe of the Indian, in 
which, singing merrily, he traversed the 
greater part of the northern continent, and 
actually discovered all that we now know, and 
much more, since lapsed into oblivion. 

But his genius was that of conquest, and 
not of permanent colonization ; and, tram- 
melled by feudal laws and observances, al- 
though he extended the national domain and 
the glory of France beyond his most ardent 
desire, yet he took no steps to insure its dura- 
tion, and thus left the Saxon and the Anglo- 
Norman to consolidate the structure of which 
he had merely laid the extensive foundation. 


But, even now, amidst all the enlightenment 
of the Christian nations, the descendants of 
the French in Canada shake off the dust of 
feudality with painful difiiculty ; and, instead 
of quietly yielding to a better order of things, 
prefer to dwell, from sire to son, the willing 
slaves of customs derived from the obsolete 
decrees of a despotic monarchy. 

Whether they individually are gainers or 
losers by thus adhering to the rules which 
guided their ancestors, is another question, 
too difficult for discussion to grapple with 
here. As far as worldly happiness and simple 
contentment are concerned, I believe they 
would lose by the change, which, however, 
must take place. The restless and enter- 
prising American is too close a neighbour to 
let them slumber long in contented ignorance. 

The Frenchman was, however, adapted, by 
his nature, to win his way, either by friend- 
ship or by force, among the warlike and un- 
tutored sons of the forest. Accommodating 
himself with ease to the nomadic life of the 
tribes; contrasting his gay and lively tern- 


perament with the solemn taciturnity and im* 
moveable phlegm of the savage ; dazzling him 
with the splendour of his religious ceremonies ; 
abstemious in his diet, and coinciding in his 
recklessness of life; equally a warrior and 
equally a hunter ; unmoved by the dangers of 
canoe navigation, for which he seemed as well 
adapted as the Red Man himself ; the enter- 
prising Gaul was everywhere feared and every- 
where welcome. 

The Briton, on the contrary, cold as the 
Indian, but not so cunning; accustomed to 
comparative luxury and ease; despising the 
child of the woods as an inferior caste ; ac-^ 
companied in his wars or wanderings by no 
outward and visible sign of the religion he 
would fain implant; unaccustomed to yield 
even to his equals in opinion ; unprepared for 
alternate seasons of severe fasting or riotous 
plenty ; and wholly without that sanguine 
temper which causes mirth and song to break 
forth spontaneously amidst the most painful 
toil and privations ; was not the best of pio- 
neers in the wilderness, and was, therefore. 


not received with open arms by the American 
aboriginal nations, until experience had taught 
the sterling value of his character, or, rather, 
until it became thoroughly apparent. 

To this day, where, in the interminable 
wilderness, all trace of French influence is 
buried, the Indian reveres the recollections 
of his forefathers respecting that gallant race ; 
and, wherever the canoe now penetrates, the 
solemn and silent shades of the vast West, 
the Bois Brule, or mixed offspring of the 
Indian and the Frenchman, may be heard 
awakening the slumber of ages with carols 
derived from the olden France, as he paddles 
swiftly and merrily along. 

Such was the Frenchman, such the French 
Canadian ; let us therefore give due honour 
to their descendants, and let not any feeling 
of distrust or dislike enter our minds against 
a race of men, who, from my long acquaint- 
ance with them, are, I am fully persuaded, 
the most innocent, the most contented, and 
the most happy yeomanry and peasantry of 
the whole civilized world. 


I have observed already, in a former work, 
hat, as far as my experience of travelling 
in the wilds of Canada goes, and it is rather 
extensive, I should always in future journeys 
prefer to provide myself with the true 
French Canadian boatmen, or voyageurs, or, in 
default of them, with Indians, With either 
I should feel perfectly at ease ; and, having 
crossed the mountain waves of Huron in a 
Canada trading birch canoe with both, should 
have the less hesitation in trusting myself in 
the trackless forest, under their sole guidance 
and protection. 

Honneur k Jean Baptiste, \ 
Cest UQ si bon enfant ! 

VOL. I. H 



PtoeUnguishene — ^TheNipisi^aiigCftfmibals, And a FrkDAlf 

Brother in the Wilderness. 

^eiietanguishehfe, pronounced by the In- 
dians Pien-et-awh-^u-shene, " the Bay of the 
White Rolling Satid/' is a magnificent har- 
bour, about three tniles in length, narrow and 
land-locked completely by hilld on each side. 
Here is always a steam-vessel of war, of a 
small class, with others in ordinary, stores 
and appliances, a small military force, hos- 
pital and commissariat, an Indian inter- 
preter, and a surgeon. . 

But the presents are no longer given out 
here, as in 1837 and previously, to the wild 
tribes ; so that, to see the Indian in perfec- 
tion, you must take the annual government 
trader, and sail to the Grand Manitonlin 
Island, about a hundred miles on the northern 


shofe of Lake Huron, where, at Manitou-a- 
wanning, there is a large settlement of Indian 
jieople, removed thither by the government to 
keep them from being plundered of their 
presents by the Whites, who were in the 
habit of giving whiskey and tobacco for their 
blankets, rifles, clothing, axes, knives, and 
other useful articles, with wiuch, by treaty, 
4hey are annually suppliisd. 

The Great Manitoulin, or Island of the 
Oreat Spirit, is an immense island, and, 
being good land, it is hoped that the benevo- 
lent intentions of the government will be 
successful. An Indian agent, or superintend 
dent, resides with them; and a steamboat, 
called the Goderich, has made one or two 
trips to it, and up to the head of Lake Huron, 
iast summer. 

I went to Penetanguishene with the in, 
tention of meeting this vessel and going with 
her, but fear that her enterprise will be a 
failure. She was chartered to run from 
Sturgeon Bay, about nineteen miles beyond 
tha^arrows of Lake Simcoe, in connectioQ 


with the mail or stage from Toronto, and the 
Beaver steamboat, plying on Lake Simcoe. 

From Sturgeon Bay she went to Penetan- 
guishene, and then to St. Vincent Settle^ 
ment, and Owen's Sound, on Lake Huron, 
where a vast body of emigrants are locating. 
From Owen's Sound, she coasted and doubled 
Cabot's Head, and then ran down three hun* 
dred miles of the shore of Lake Huron to 
Goderich, Sarnia, Fort Gratiot, Windsor, and 
Detroit, with an occasional pleasure«trip to 
Manitoulin, St. Joseph's, and St. Mary's; 
so that all the north shore of Lake Huron 
could be seen, and the passengers might take 
a peep at Lake Superior, by going up the 
rapids of St, Mary to Gros Cap. But a 
variety of obstacles occurred in this immense 
voyage, although ultimately they will no 
doubt be overcome. 

By starting in the Toronto stage early in 
the morning, the traveller slept on board the 
Goderich at Sturgeon Bay, a good road 
having been formed from the Narrows, al- 
though, by some strange oversight, this road 


terminates in a marsh six hundred feet from 
the bank to the island, on which the wharf 
and storehouse built for the steamer are 
erected. This caused much inconvenience to 
the passengers. 

The stage went, or goes, once a week, on 
Monday, to Holland Landing, thirty six miles, 
meets the Beaver, which then crosses Lake 
Simcoe to the Narrows, a small village, 
thriving very fast since it is no longer a 
government Indian station, fifty miles, and 
there lands the travellers, who proceed by 
stage to Sturgeon Bay, nineteen more, and 
sleep on board the Goderich, arriving about 
eight p.m. The vessel gets under weigh, 
and reaches Penetapguishene by six in the 
morning: thas the whole route from Toronto, 
which takes three days by the land road, is 
performed in twenty-four hours. 

But theie are drawbacks: the Georgian 
Bay, between Sturgeon Bay and Penetan- 
guishene, is, as I have already observedy dan^ 
gerous at night, or in a fog. At Owen's 
Sound, the population ia not far enough 


adranced to build the extensive wharf requi- 
site, or to lay in sufficient supplies of fuel, 
and thus great detention was experienced 
there. At Penetanguisfaene, the wharf is not 
taken far enough into deep water for the vessel 
to lie at, and thus she usually grounded in 
the mud, and detention again arose. Then 
again, after rounding Cabot's Head and 
getting into the open lake, the coast is very 
dangerous, having not one harbour, until we 
arrive at the artificial one of Goderich, 
which is a pier--barbour ; for the Sangeen is 
a roadstead full of rocks, and cannot be 
approached by a large vessel. 

If, therefore, any thing happens to the 
machinery, and a steamer has to trust to her 
sails, the westerly winds which prevail on 
Lake Huron and blow tremendously, raising a 
sea that must be seen to be conceived of in a 
fresh-water lake, she has only to keep oflT the 
shore out into the main lake, and avoid 
Goderich altogether, by making for the St. 
Clair River. 

However, the vessel did perform the voyage 


SQCcessfully seven times ; and fai snnam^r it 
may do, and, if it does do, will be of incalcu«> 
lable benefit to the Huron tn^ct, and the 
new settlements of the far west of Canada. 

I am, howeyer, afhiid that the railroad 
schemes for opening the country to the south 
of this tract will for some time prevent a 
profitable steamboat speculation, although 
vast quantities of very superior fish are 
caught and cured now on the shores of 
Huron, such as salmon-trout and white fish, 
which, when properly salted or dried, are 
equal to any salt sea-fish whatever. 

The Canadian French, the half-breeds, and 
the Indians, are chiefly engaged in this trade, 
which promises to become one of great im- 
portance to the country, and is already much 
encroached upon by adventurers from the 
United States. 

Tlie herring, as far as I can learn, ascends 
the St. , Lawrence no higher than the Niagara 
River, but Ontario abounds with them and 
with salmon ; a smaller species of white fish 
also has of late years spread itself over that 


lake, and is now sold plentifully in the 
Kingstcm market, where it was never seen 
only seven years ago. It is a beautifol fish, 
firm and well tasted, but rather too fat« 

A farmer on the Penetanguishene road 
has introduced English breeds of cattle and 
sheep of the best kind. He was, and per* 
hsips still is, contractor for the troops, and 
his stock is well worth seeing ; he lives a few 
miles from Barrie. Thus the garrison is 
constantly supplied with finer meat than 
any other station in Canada, although more 
out of the world and in the wilderness than 
any other ; and, as fish is plentiful, the 
soldiers and sailors of Queen Victoria in 
the Bay of the White Rolling Sand live 

I was agreeably surprised to find at this 
remote post that only one soldier drank any- 
thing stronger than beer or water ; and of 
course very little of the former, owing to 
the expense of transport, was to be had. The 
soldier that did drink spirits did not drink to 


How did all this happen in a place where 
drunkenness had been proverbial ? The sol* 
diers, who were of the 83nd regimen t, had been 
selected for the station as married men. Their 
young commanding officer patronized garden- 
ing, cricketing, boating, and every manly amuse<r 
ment, but permitted no gambling. He formed 
a school for the soldieriB and their families^ 
and, in short, he knew bow to manage them, 
and to keep their minds engaged ; for they 
worked and played, read aQd reasoned ; and 
so whiskey, which is as cheap as dirt there, 
was not a temptation which they could not 
resist. In winter, he had sleighing, snow- 
shoeing, and every exercise compatible with 
the severe wealiier and the very deep snow 
incident to the station. 

I feel pensuaded that, now government has 
provided such handsome garrison libraries of 
choice and well selected books for the sol- 
diers, if a ball alley, or racket court, and a 
cricket ground were attached to every large 
barrack, there would not only be less drink- 
ing in the army, but that vice would ulti- 

u 5 

154 casah^a and 

matety be sccmied, u it ham been within the 
kgt twenty yearn by the officers. A hard-* 
drinkmg officer will fi(3df cely be tolerated ifi a 
i^egiment now^ dimply because excessive drinks 
fpig is a low, meati vice, being the indalgence 
of self f6T nnwotthy motives, and beneath the 
character of a gentlemati. To be bfonght td 
a cdfirt-tnartial for drunkenness is now as di9- 
gvacefnl and injdriofis to the reputation of aii 
officer as it was to be tried for cowardice^ 
and therefore seldom occurs in the British 

The vice Of Canada is, however, drink ; and 
Teftiperanee Societies will not mend it, Thdr 
good is very eqnivocal, unless Cotnbined with 
religion, as thete is only one Father Matthew 
in the world, nor is it probable that there will 
be another. 

Penetanguisbene is at preseiit the idfimd 
Thnle of the British fnilitary posts in North 
Aniericd. It borders on the great wilderness 
of the North, and on that backbone of primary 
rocks running from the Alleghauies, across the 
thousand islands of the St, Lawrelafee, to the 


unknown interior of the northern verge of 
Lake Superior. 

Penetanguishene will not, however, be long 
the ultima Thtde of British military posts in 
Western Canada, as a large and most im- 
portant settlement is making at Owen's Sound, 
on Lake Huron, connected by a long road 
through the wilderness with Saugeen river, 
another settlement on the shoreig of that lake, 
to prevent the necessity of the difficult water- 
passage round Cabot's Head ; and & steam- 
boat has been put on the route y the 
Caiiada Company, to connect Saugeen with 

The government, up to the Slst of Decern- 
ber, 1845, had sold or granted 54,056 acres 
of land at Owen's Sound, of which 1,168 acres 
had been chopped or cleared of th6 forest last 
year alone; and 1,787 acres of Wheat and 
1,414 sicres of oats had been harvested in 
1845. There were 48^ oien, 596 cows, 483 
young cattlCj fend 26 horses ; and the popula- 
tion was 1,950, of which 759 were males 
above sixteen, and 399 males under si^teen^ 


with 395 females above, and 399 under, the 
same age. 

In this new colony there were 1,005 Pres- 
byterians, 195 Boman Catholics, 173 Me- 
thodists, 167 of the Church of England, 67 
Baptists, 8 Quakers. The other sects or divi- 
sions were not enumerated with sufficient accu- 
racy to detail ; and Owen's Sound, being as 
yet buried in the Bush, cannot be visited by 
casual travellers, unless when an occasional 
steamer plies from Penetanguishene. There 
is yet no post-office; but 1,500 newspapers 
and letters were received or sent in 1846; and 
two flour-mills and two saw-mills are erected 
and in use. Three schooners of a small class ply 
in summer to Penetanguishene. The village 
is at the head of Owen's Sound, fifteen miles 
from Cape Croker, and is named Sydenham^ 
containing already thirty-six houses. Govern- 
ment gives 50 acres free, on condition of ac- 
tual settlement, a,pd that one third is cleared 
and cropped in four years, when a deed is ob- 
tained : another fifty is granted by paying 8s. 
Itn acre within three years, 9s. within six 


year^, 10s. an acre within nine years. The 
soil is good and climate heal thy » 

North-north-west and north-east of Penet^ 
anguishene, all is wood, rock, lake, river, and 
desert, in which, towards the French river, the 
Nipissang Indian, the most degraded and help-^ 
less of the Bed Men, wanders, and obtains 
scanty food, for game is rare, although fish is 
more plentifaL 

An exploring expedition into this country 
was sent by Sir John Colborne, in 1835, with 
a view of ascertaining its capabilities for set- 
tlement. An officer of engineers. Captain 
Baddely, was the astronomer and geologist ; & 
naval officer the pilot ; with surveyors and a 
hardy suite. 

They left Lake Simcoe in the township of 
Rama from the Severn river, and, going a 
short journey eastward, struck the division 
line of the Home and the Newcastle districts, 
which commences between the townships of 
Whitby and Darlington, on the shore of Lake 
Ontario, and runs a little to the westward oi 
north in a straight course^ until it strikes the 


sonth-east borders of Lake Nipissang, embra- 
cing more than two degrees of latitude, not 
one half of whieh has ever been fully ex- 

The plan adopted was to cut out this line^ 
and diverge Occasionally from it to the right 
and left, until a great extent of unknown land 
on the east^ and the distance between it and 
Lake Huron, which contained a large portion 
of the Chippewa Indian hunting-grounds^ was 
thoroughly surveyed. 

In performing so very arduous a task, much 
priviU^ion and many obstacles occurred — fo - 
rests, strntnps, rivers, lakes, rocky ridges-— all 
had to be passed^ 

To the eastward of the main line, and fot 
siorae distance to the westward, good land ap- 
peared ; and, as the agriculturd probe was 
freely used, chance was not permitted to sWay. 
The agricultural probe is an instrument 
which I first sa\v slung over my friend Bad- 
dely*s shoulders, and of his invention. It is 
# sort of huge screw gimblet, of auger, which 
readily penetrates the ground by being worked 


with a long cross-handle, and brings np the 
subsoil in a groove to a considerable depth* 
Specimens of the soil and of rocks and minerals 
were collected, and a plan was adopted which 
is a nsefal lesson to future explorers. A snomll 
piece of linen or cotton, about four inches 
square, had two pieces of twine sewed on op-* 
posite eomers, and the cloth was marked ia 
printers' ink, from stamps, with figures from 
1 to ; 00. A knapsack waa provided, and the 
specimens were reduced co a size small enough 
to be carefully tied up in one of these num-* 
bered square cloths ; and, as the specimens 
were collected, they were entered in the jour* 
lial as to number and locality, strata, dip, atid 
appearance. Thus a vast number of small 
8lpecimens could be brought on a man's badk^ 
and examined at leisure. 

The toils, however, of such a journey in the 
vast and untrodden wilderness are very severe, 
and the privations greater. For, in this tracts 
on the side next to Lake Huron, there was an 
absence of game which scarcely ever occurs 
in the forest near the great lakes. With 


ice forming and snow commencing, and with- 
every prospect of being frozen in, a portion 
of the explorers missed their supplies, and 
subsisted for three whole days and nights on 
almost nothing ; a putrid deer's liver, hanging 
on a bush near a recent Indian trail, was all 
the animal food they had found ; but this even 
hunger could scarcely tempt them to cook. 
I was exploring in a more civilized country 
near them ; but even there our Indian guide 
was at fault, and, from want of proper pre- 
caution, our provision failed. A small fish 
amongst four or five persons was one day's 

The Nipissang Indians, a very degraded 
and wretched tribe, live in this desolate region, 
and, it is said, have sometimes been so reduced 
for want of game as to resort to cannibalism. 
We heard that they had recently been obliged 
to resort to this practice. I was directed, 
with my friends, to conciliate these people, 
and to assure them that the British govern- 
ment^ so far from intending to injure them by 


an examination of their country, desired only 
to ameliorate their sad condition.^ 

We had a council* The astronomer royal, 
who was also the geologist, was a fine, portly 
fellow, whose bodily proportions would make 
three such carcases as that which I rejoice in» 
The nation sat in council and the Talk was 
held. Grim old savages, filthy and forbidding, 
half-starved warriors, hideous to the eye, sat 
in large circle, with the two great Red 
Fathers, as they called my friend and myself, 
on account of our scarlet jackets. The pipe 
passed from hand to hand and from mouth to 
mouth, and many a solemn whifF ascended in 
curling clouds : all was solemn and sad. 

^ Some time afterwards, during the period in which 
Lord Glenelg held the Colonial Office, I was appointed to 
report upon the state and condition of the Indians of Ca- 
nada, by his lordship, without my knowledge or solicitation ; 
this was never communicated to me by the then Lieut.- 
Governor of Upper Canada, and I only knew of it last 
year, by accidentally reading a report on the subject made by 
order of the House of Assembly, after I left Canada. I do 
not know if his lordship will ever read this work, or the 
gentleman to whom I believe I was indebted for the intended 
kindness ; and, if either should, I beg to tender my thanka 
thus publicly. 


The speech was made and answered with an 
acuteness which we were not prepared for. 
Bat our explanation and mission were at 
length received, and the pledge of peace, the 
wampum-belts, were accepted and worn by 
the aged chiefs. My friend jogged my elbow 
once or twice, and thought they were eyeing 
him suspiciously, for he was to proceed into 
their country. He looked so &t and so 
healthy, that he thought their greasy mouths 
watered for a roasted slice of so fine a 
subject ! 

But the wampum pledge js neyer broken, 
and we had smoked the calumet of friend* 
ship. Thus, although he luxuriated, after a 
total abstinence of three days, on the sight 
of a decayed deer's liver, which he could not 
be prevailed upon to partake of, yet the Ni- 
pissang, starving as he must also have been, 
never fried my friend, nor feasted on his fat- 

This is not the only good story to be told 
of Penetanguishene ; for the American press 
of the frontier, with its accustomed adherence 


to truth, discovered a mare's nest there lately^ 
and stated that the British government kept 
enormous supplies of naval stores, several 
steam-vessels, a dep6t of coal, and everything 
necessary for the equipment of a large war 
fleet on Lake Huron, at this little outpost of 
the West, and that a tremendous force of 
mounted cavaliers were always ready to em- 
bark on board of it at all times. 

There are now certainly a good many 
horses at the village, whereas, in 1837, per- 
haps one might have found out a dozen by 
great research there : as for cavalry, unless 
Brother Jonathan can manufacture it as 
eheaply and as lucratively as he does woodeo 
clocks or nutmegs^ it would be somewhafc 
difficult to raise it at Penetanguisheoe. 

The village is a small, rambling place, with 
a little Roman Catholic church and a store- 
house or general shop or two, about which, in 
summer, you always see idle Indians playing 
at some game or other, or else smoking with 
as idle villagers. 
. The garrison is three miles from the village^ 


and is always called " The Establishment ;'* 
and in the forest between the two places is a 
new church, built of wood, very small, but 
sufficient for the Established Church, as it is 
sometimes called, of that portion of Canada* 
A clergyman is constantly stationed here for 
the army, navy, and civilians, and near the 
church is a collection of log huts, which I 
placed there some years ago by order of Lord 
Seaton, with small plots of ground attached 
to each as a refuge for destitute soldiers who 
had commuted their pensions* 

This Chelsea in miniature flourished for a 
time, and drained the streets of the large towns 
of Canada of the miserable objects ; but, such 
was the improvidence of most of these settlers 
and such their broken constitutions, that, on 
my present visit, I found but one old serjeant 
left, and he was on the point of moving. 

The commutation of pensions was an expe^ 
riment of the most benevolent intention. It 
was thought that the married pensioner would 
purchase stock for a small farm, and set him«r 
i;elf down to provide for his children with a 


sum of money in band which be could never 
baye obtained in any other way. Many did 
80, and are now independent; bat the majority, 
helpless in their habits, and giving way to 
drink, soon got cheated of their dollars and 
became beggars ; so that the government was 
actually obliged at length to restore a small 
portion of the pension to keep them from 
starvation. They died out, would not work 
at the Penetanguishene settlement, and have 
vanished from the things that be. Poor fel» 
lows ! many a tale have they told me of flood 
and field, of being sabred by the cuirassiers 
at Waterloo, of being impaled on a Polish 
lance, and of their wanderings and sufferings. 
The military settlement, however, of the 
Penetanguishene road is a different affair. It 
was effected by pensioned non-commissioned 
officers and soldiers, who had grants of a hun<- 
dred acres and sometimes more ; and it will 
please the benevolent founder, should these 
pages meet his eye, to know that many of 
them are now prosperous, and almost all well 
to do in the world. 

1 66 €ANADA AND 

But we must retrace oar steps, and waggoa 
back again by their doors to Barrie. 

I left the TiHage at half>past six in the 
morning, raining still, with the wind in the 
iBOuth*east, and rery cold. We arrived at the 
Widow Marlow's, nineteen miles, at mid-day ; 
the weather having changed to fine and blow* 
ing hard — certainly not pleasant in the forest- 
road, on account of the danger of falling trees, 
to which this pass is so liable that a party of 
axemen have sometimes to go ahead to cut 
but a way for the horses. 

We passed through the twelve mile woods 
by a new road, which reduces the extent of 
actual forest to five, and avoids altogether 
the Trees of the Two Brothers, noted in Penet- 
anguishene history for the fatal accident, 
narrated in a former volume, by which one 
soldier died, and his brother was, it is sup^ 
posed, frightened to death, in the solemn 
depths of the primeval and then endless 

Near the end of the five mile Bush, about 
a mile from the first clearance, JefiVey, the 


landlord of the inn at the tillage, has built 
a email cottage for the refreshment of the 
travellery and in it he intends to place his 
son. In the mean time, until quite com^ 
pletedy for monej is scarce and things not to 
be done at railroad pace so near the North 
Pole, he has located here an old well known 
black gentleman, called Mr. Davenport, who 
was once better to do in the world, and kept 
a tavern himself. 

Having had the honour of his acquaintance 
for many jears, I stopped to see how my old 
friend was getting on, particularly as I heard 
;that he was now very old, and that his white 
consort had left him alone in the narrow 
World of the house in the woods. He received 
faie with grinning delight^ land told me that 
he had just left the new jail at Barrie foi* 
selling liquor without a license, which, t 
opine, is rather hard law against a poor old 
nigger, who had literally no other means of 
support, and was most usefully stationed, like 
the monks of St. Bernard, in a dangerous 


Bat the wind is tempered to the shorn 
lamb, and the woolly head of old Davenport 
had matter of satisfaction in it from a source 
that he never dreamed of. 

Alone — far away from the whole human 
world, in the depth of a hideous forest, with 
a road nearly impassable one half of the year, 
*^he found an unexpected friend. 

For fear of the visits of two-footed and 
four-footed brutes during the long nights of 
his Robinson Crusoe solitude, old Davenport 
always shut up his log castle early, and re- 
tired to rest as soon as daylight departed ; 
for it did so very early in the evening there, 
as the solemn pines, with their gray trunks 
and far-spreading moss-grown arms and 
dismal evergreen foliage, if it can be called 
foliage, stood close to his dwelling — nay, 
brushed with the breath of the wind his very 

Recollect, reader, that this lonely dweller 
in the Bush resided near the spot where the 
two soldier brothers perished ; and you may 
imagine his thoughts, after his castle . was 



closed at night by the lone warder. No one 
could come to his assistance, if he had the 
bugle that roused the echoes of Fonta-s 

He had retired to rest early one night ia 
the young spring-time, when he heard a singu- 
lar noise on the outside of his house, like some-^ 
body moaning, and rubbing forcibly under his 
window, which was close to the head of his pal" 
let-bed. Quivering with fear, he lay, with these 
pounds continuing at short interyals, through 
the whole night, and did not rise until the sun 
was well up. He then peeped cautiously 
about, but neither heard nor saw any thing ; 
and, axe in hand and gun loaded, he went 
forth, but could not perceive aught more 
than that the ground had been slightly dis- 
turbed. This went on for some time, until 
^t last, one fine moonlight night, the old maa 
ventured to open a part of his narrow win-t 
dow ; and there he saw rubbing himself, very 
composedly, a fine large he bear, who looked 
^p very affectionately at him, and whined ii\ 
a decent melancholy growl. 

VOL. I. I 


Davenport had, it seems, thrown soma 
useless article of food out of this window ; 
and Bruin supposed, no doubt, that Blackey 
did it out of compassionate feeling for a fel* 
low denizen of the forest, and repeated his 
visits to obtain something more substantial^ 
rubbing himself, to get rid of the mosquitoes, 
as it was his custom of an afternoon, against 
the rough logs of the dwelling* He had, 
moreover, become a little impatient at not 
being noticed, and scratched like a dog to 
make the lord of the mansion aware of his 
presence. This usually occurred about nine 

Davenport, at last, threw some salt pork 
to Bruin, which was most gratefully received ) 
and every night after that, for the. whole 
summer and autumn, at nine o'clock or there- 
abouts, the bear came to receive bread, meat, 
milk, or potatoes, or whatever could be spared 
from the larder, which was left on the ground 
under the window for him. In fact, they 
soon came to be upon very friendly terms, 
and spent many hours in each other's com* 


pany, with a stout log-wall between Daven- 
port and his brother, as he always calls the 

When the snows of winter, the long, severe 
winter of these northern woods, at last came, 
Brain ceased his nocturnal visitations, and 
has never been seen since, the old man think- 
ing that he has been shot or trapped by the 
Indian hunters. 

I asked Davenport if he ever ventured out 
to look for his brother, but he shook his bi&ad 
and replied^ ^^ My brudder might have hugged 
me too hard, perhaps." The poor old fellow 
is very cheerful, and regrets his brother's 
absence daily. The bailiifs most likely would 
not have put him in jail for selling whiskey 
to a tired traveller, but would have avoided 
the castle in the woods, if they thongbt ther 
was any chance of meeting Bruin. 




Barrie and Big Trees — A new Capital of a new District—^ 
Kature^s Canal — ^The Devil's Elbow — Macadamization and 
Mud — Richmond Hill without the Lass — The Bebellio^ 
and the Radicals — Blue Hill and Bricks. 

We reached Barrie safely that night, and 
slept at the Queen's Arms. Next morning, I 
had an excellent opportunity of seeing this 
thriving village. 

It is very well situated on the shore of 
Kempenfeldt Bay, on ground rising gradually 
to a considerable height, and is neatly laid 
out, containing already about five hundred 

On the high ground overlooking the place 
are a church, a court-house, and a jail, all 
standing at a small distance from each other, 
nearly on a line, and adding very much in- 
deed to the appearance of the place. The 


deep woods how form a background, but are 
gradually disappearing^ I went about a mile 
into thiam, and saw several new clearances, 
with some nice houses building or built ; ancjL 
particularly one by Bingham, our landlord, 
a yery comfortable, English-looking, large 
cottage, with outhouses and an immense barn, 
round which the rascally ground squirrels 
were playing at hide-and-seek very fearlessly^ 

* The Court House contains the district 
school, which appears very respectable, and is 
conducted by a young Irishman ; it also con- 
tains all the district offices, and is two storiefi 
high, massively and well built, the lower 
story being of stone and the upper of brick^ 
both from materials on the spot. 

- The church is of wood, plain and neat.- 
The jail is worth a visit, and shows what 
luay be done in the forest and in a bran-new 
district, as the district of Simcoe is, although 
I believe about half the money it cost would 
have been better employed on the roads ; for 
it has never been used, except as a place otf 
confinement for an unfortunate lunatic. 


It is formed in the castellated style, of a 
handsome octagonal tower, of rerj white, 
shelly limestone, with a square tnrreted stone 
enclosiiTe, on the top of which is an iron 
cheoati^ de frize, and which enclosnre is 
i^ubdiyided into separate day-yards for pri- 
soners. The entrance is under a Gothic 
archway ; and in the centre of the tower is an 
internal space, open from top to bottom, and 
preventing all access to the stairs from the 
cells, which are very neat, clean, and com- 
modious, witii a good supply of water, and 
excellent ventilation* It is, in short, as 
pretty a toy penitentiary as you could see 
anywhere, and looks more like an Isle of 
Wight gentleman's fortress, copied after the 
most approved Wyattville pattern of baronial 
mansion, with a littlctouch of the card-house. 
In short, it is as fine as you can conceive, 
and sets off the village wonderfully well. 

The red pine, near Barrie and through 
all the Penetanguishene country, grows to 
an enormous size. I measured one near 
Barrie no less than twenty-six feet in 


girth, and this was merely a chanoe one by 
the path-side. Its height, I think, must have 
been at least two hundred feet, and it was 
Tigorously healthy. What was its age? 
It would have made a plank eight feet broad, 
after the bark was stripped off. 

Btt the woods generally disappoint tra<* 
vellers, as they never penetrate them ; an<]l 
the lumberers have cut down all available 
pines and oaks within reach of the settle* 
ments, excepting where they were not worth 
the expenoe of transport. The pines, more* 
9ver, take no deep root ; and, as soon as the 
underbrush or thicket is cleared, they fall 
l)efore the storm. Provident settlers, there* 
fore, rarely leave large and lofty trees near 
their dwellings for fear of accident. 

The pine, in the Penetanguisbene country, 
has a strange fancy to start out of the earth 
in three, five, or more trunks, all joined at the 
base, and each trunk an enormous tree* I 
have an ideo. that this has arisen from the 
•tony, loose soil they grow in, which has 
eaused this strange freak of Nature, by 


making it difficult for the young plant to 
tear its head out of the ground. Whatever 
is the reason, however, all the masts of some 
"great Amiral'^ might be truly provided 
out of a single pine-tree. 

But we must leave Barrie, after just men^^ 
tioning Kempenfeldt, about a mile ot so 
distant, which was the original village ; and, 
although at the actual terminus of the land 
road, has never flourished, and still consists 
of some half dozen houses. The newer Ad* 
miral superseded the more ancient one ; fot 
Barrie did deeds of renown, which it suited 
the Canadians to commemorate much more 
than the unfortunate Eempenfeldt and hie 
melancholy end. 

If ever there was an infamous road betweeo 
two villages so close together, it is the road 
between these two places ; I hope it will be 
mended, for it is both dark and dangerous. 

I always wondered not a little how it hap- 
pened that Bingham of • Barrie kept such a 
good table, where fresh meat was as plentiful 
as at Toronto. I looked for the market-place 


of the capital of .Simcge : tbere was none. 
But the mystery was solved the moment I pat 
my foot on board the Beayer steamer to go 
back by the water road, 
^ What will the reader think of LeadenhaU 
Market being condensed and floating ? . Such, 
however, was the case; there was a regular 
travelling butcher's-shop, for the supply of 
the settlers around Lake Simcoe ; and meat, 
elean and enticing as at the finest stall in the 
market aforesaid, where upon regular hooks 
Were regularly displayed the fine roasting and 
boiling joints of the season. And a very fair 
speculation no doubt it is, this pedlar butchery. 

On the 8rd of July, at half-past twelve, I 
left the capital of the Simcoe district, and am 
particular as to dates and seasons, because it 
tells the traveller for pleasure what are the 
times and the tides he should choose. 

We embarked on board the good ship 
Beaver, a large steam-vessel, for the Holland 
Landing, distant twenty-eight miles — twenty- 
one of them by the lake, and seven by the 
river. The vessel stops by the way at several 



settlements^ where half^pay officers generally 
have pitched their tents ; and twice a week she 
makes the grand tonr of the whole lake, at an 
altitude of upwards of seven hundred and fifty 
feet above Lake Ontario, and not forty miles 
from it. 

This navigation of the Holland river is very 
well worth seeing, as it is a natural canal flowing 
through a vast marsh, and very narrow, with 
most serpentine convolutions, often doubling 
upon itself.— Conceive the difficulty of steering 
a large steamboat in such a course ; yet it i» 
done every day in summer and autumn, by 
means of long poles, slackening the steam, 
backing, &c., though very rarely without 
running a little way into the soft mud of the 
swamp. The motion of the paddles has, how* 
ever, in the course of years, widened the 
channel and prevented the growth of flags and 

There is one place called the Devil's Elbow, 
a common name in Canada for a difficult river 
pass, where the sluggish water fairly makes a 
double, and great care is necessary. Here the 


enterprising owner and master of the vessel 
tried to cut a channel ; but, after getting a 
straight eourse through the mud for two-thirds 
of the way, he found it too expensive to pro- 
ceed, but declares that he will persevere. 
Why does not the Board of Works, which has 
literally the expenditure of more thun a 
million, take the business in hand, and com" 
plete it ! One or two hundred pounds would 
finish the affair. But perhaps it is too 
trifling, and, like the cut at the Long Point, 
Lake Erie, to which we shall come presently, 
is overlooked in the magnitude of greater 

Of all the unformed, unfinished public esta- 
blishments in Canada, it has always appeared 
to me that the Crown Lands department, and 
the Board of Works, are pre-eminent. One 
costs more to manage the funds it raises than 
the funds amount to ; and the other was for 
several years a mere political job. No very 
eminent civil engineer could have ttfforded 
to devote his time and talents to it, as he 
must have been constantly exposed to be 

180- .CANADA AND '" 

turned oiit of office by caprice or cupidity. 
I do not know how it is now managed, but the 
political jobbing is, I belieye, at an end, as 

the same person presides over the office who 


held it when it was in very bad odour. Thi8> 
gentleman must, however, be quite adequate 
to the office, as some of the public works are 
magnificent ; but I cannot go so far as to say 
that one must approve of all. The St. Law- 
rence Canal has cost the best part of a million, 
is useless in time of war, and a mere foil at 
all times to the Rideau navigation, which the 
British government constructed free of any 
provincial funds. The timber slides on the 
Trent are so much money put into the tim- 
ber-merchants' pockets, to the extreme detri- 
ment of the neighbouring settlers, whose lands 
have been swept of every available stick by 
the lawless hordes of woodcutters engaged to 
furnish this work; and who, living in the 
forest, were beyond the reach of justice of of 
reason, "destroying more trees than they could 
•carry away, and defying, gun and axe in hand, 
the peaceable proprietors. 


' It was intended, before the rebellion broke 
dut, to render the river Trent navigable by a 
splendid canal, which would have opened the: 
finest lands in Canada for hundreds of miles^ 
and eventually to have connected Lake Huroa 
with Lake Ontario. A large suiri of money- 
was expended ' on it before the Board of 
Works was constituted, and an experienced 
clerk of works, fresh from the Rideau Canal, 
was chosen to superintend ; but the troubles: 
commenced, and the money was wanted else* 
where. ^ c' r/ 

. When money became again plentiful, and 
the country so loudly demanded the Trent 
Canal, why was it not finished ? I shall give 
by and by an account of a recent excursion to 
the Trent, and then we shall perhaps learu 
more about it, and why perishing timber slides 
were substituted for a magnificent canal. 
^ But the Devil's Elbow should be straight*- 
ened by the Board of Works at all events, 
otherwise it may stick in the mud, and then 
nobody can help it ; for the marsh is very ex- 
.teusive, and there would be no Jupiter to cry 

lOUt tQ. 


Well, howeyer, in spite of all tibstacles, 
Captain Laughton piloted us safe to Ague 
and Fever Landing, where, depend apou It, 
we did not stay a moment longer than sufficed 
to jump into a coloured gentleman's waggon, 
which was in waiting, and in which we were 
driven oiF as a coloured gentleman always 
drives, that is to say, in a hand-gallop, to 
Winch's tavern, our old accustomed inn at 
St. Alban's, where we arrived in due time, and 
there hired another Jehu, who was an Ameri- 
can Irishman (a sad compound), to take us as 
lar towards Yonge Street as practicable. 
We reached Richmond Hill, seventeen miles 
from the Landing, at about eight o'clock, 
having made a better day's journey than is 
usually accomplished ^n a road which will be 
macadamized some fine day; for the Board 
of Works have a Polish engineer hard at work 
surveying it — of course no Canadian was to 
be found equal to this intricate piece of 
engineering — and I saw a variety of sticks 
stuck up, but what they meant I cannot guess 
at. I suppose they were going to grade it, 
which is the favourite American term—- a 


term, by the by, by no manner or method 
meaning gradas ad Pamassum, or even laying 
it out in steps and stairs, like the Scotch 
military road near Loch Ness ; but which, as 
fSax as my limited information in Webster's 
Dictionary of the Anglo-Saxon tongue goes, 
signifies levelling. I may, however, be mis- 
taken ; and this puts me in mind of another 
tale to beguile the way. 

A character set out from England to try 
his fortune in Canada. He was conversing 
about prospects in that country, on board the 
vessel, with a person who knew him, but 
whom he knew not. ^^ I have not quite made 
up my mind," said the character, ^^ as to what 
pursuit I shall follow in Canada; but that 
which brings most grist to the mill will answer 
best ; and I hear a man may turn his hand to 
anything there, without the folly of an ap- 
prenticeship being necessary ; for, if he h^s 
only brains, bread will come — now, what do 
you think would be the best business for my 
market V* 

" Why," said the gentleman, after ponder*. 


ing a little, ** I should advise yon to try civil 
engineering ; for they are getting up a Board 
of Works there, and want that branch of in- 
dustry very much, for they won't take natives ; 
nothing but foreigners or strangers will go 

" What is a civil engineer?" said the 

" A man always measuring and calculating," 
responded his adviser, " and that will just 
suit you." 

" So it will," rejoined Character ; and a 
civil engineer he became accordingly, and a 
very good one into thiB bargain ; for he had 
brains, and had used a yard measure all his 

• I was told this story by a person of vera- 
city, who heard the conversation, but it is by 
no means a wonderful one ; for such is the 
versatility of talent which the climate of 
Northern America engenders, that I knew a 
leading member of parliament provincial, 
who was a preacher, a shopkeeper, a doctor^ 
a lawyer, a 1)anker, a militia colonel, and who 


Undertook to build a suspension bridge across 
the cataracted river Niagara^ to connect the 
United States with Canada for J68,000, law- 
ful money of the colony ; an undertaking 
which Rennie would perchance have valued 
at about d6l 00,000; but n'importey the bill 
was passed, and a banking shop set up 
instead of a bridge, which answered every 
purpose, for the notes passed freely on both 
sides until they were worn out. 

Behold us, however, at Richmond Hill, 
having safely passed the Slough of Despond, 
which the vaunted Yonge Street mud road 
presents, between the celebrated hamlet of 
St. Alban's and the aforesaid hill, one of the 
greatest curiosities of which road, near St. 
Alban's, is the vicinity of a sort of Mormon 
establishment, where a fellow of the name of 
David Wilson, commonly called David, has 
set up a Temple of the Davidites, with Virgins 
©f the Sun, dressed in white, and all the tom- 
fooleries of a long beard and exclusive 
sanctity. But America is a fine country for 
such knavery. Another curiosity is lesg 


pitiable and more natural. It is Bond 
Lake, a large narrow sheet of water, on the 
summit between Lake Simcoe and Lake 
Ontario, which has no visible outlet or inlet, 
and is therefore, like David Wilson, mysteri* 
ous, although common sense soon lays the 
mystery in both cases bare ; one is a freak of 
Nature concealing the source and exitus, the 
other a fraud of man. 

The oak ridges, and the stair-like descents 
of plateau after plateau to Ontario, are also 
remarkable enough, showing even to the mos6 
thoughtless that here ancient shores of an* 
cient seas once bounded the forest, gra- 
dually becoming lower and lower as the 
water subsided. Lyell visited these with 
the late Mr. Roy, a person little appreciated 
and less understood by the great ones of the 
earth at Toronto, who made an excellent geo- 
logical survey of this part of the province, and 
whose widow had infinite diflSoulty in obtain- 
ing a paltry recompense for his labours in 
developing the resources of the country. 
The honey which this industrious bee manu- 


feetured was sucked by drones, and no one 
has d(me him even a shadow of justice, but 
Mr. Lyell, who, having no colonial depen* 
dence, had no fears in so doing. 
- But of Richmond Hill, why so called I 
never could discover, for it is neither very 
highly picturesque, nor very highly poetical, 
although Dolby's Tavern is a most comfort- 
able resting-place for a wearied traveller, at 
which prose writer or poetaster may find a 
haven* Attention, good fare, and neatness 
prevail* It is English. 

I have observed two things in journeying 
through Upper Canada. If you find neatness 
at an hostel, it is kept by old-country peo- 
ple. If you meet with indifference and 
greasy meats, they are Americans. If you 
see the best parlour hung round with bad 
prints of presidents^ looking like Mormon 
preachers, they are radicals of the worst 
leaven. If prints from the New York 
Albion, neatly framed and glazed, hang on 
each side of a wooden clock, over a sideboard 
in the centre of the room, opposite to the 

18a /CANADA AND ' 

windows, the said prints representing Queeii 
yictoria, Lord Nelson, Windsor Castle, or 
the New Houses of Parliament, be assured 
that loyalty and John BuUism reign there ; 
and, although you meet with no servility, you 
will not be disgusted with vulgar assumption, 
9uch as cocking up dirty legs in dirty boots 
on a dirty stove, wearing the hat, and not 
deigning to answer a civil question. 

Personally, no man cares less for the mode 
of reception, when I take mine ease at mine 
inn, than I do, for old. soldiers are not very 
fastidious, and old travellers still less so ; but 
give me sturdy John. Bull, with his blunt 
plainness and true independence, before the 
silly insolence of a fellow, who thinks . he 
shows his equality, by lowering the character 
of a man to that of a brute, in coarse exhii> 
bitions of assumed importance, which hia 
vocation of extracting money from his un^ 
willing guests renders only more hateful. 

We departed from Richmond Hill at half- 
past five, and waggoned on to Finch's Inn, 
seven miles, where we breakfasted. This ip 


another excellent resting-place, and the 
country between the two is thickly settled; 
I forgot to mention that we have now been 
travelling through scenes celebrated in the 
rebellion of Mackenzie. About five nailes 
from Holland Landing is the Blacksmith's 
Shop, which was the head-quarters of Lount, 
the smith, who, like Jack Cade, set himself 
up to reform abuses, and suffered the penalty 
of the outraged laws. 

Lount was a misled person, who, imbued 
with strong republican feelings, and for* 
getting the favours of the government he 
lived under, which had made him what he 
was, took up arms at Mackenzie's instigation, 
and thought he had a call — a call to be a 
great general. He passed to his account, so 
^requiescas in face^ Lount ! for many a villain 
yet lives, to whose vile advices you owed 
your untimely end, and who ought to have 
met with your fate instead of you. Lount 
had the mind of an honest man in some 
things, for it is well known that his counsels 
curbed the bloody and incendiary spirit of 


Mackenme in many instances. The go^etn* 
ment has not sequestered his property^ 
although bis sons were equally guilty with 

We also pass, in going to Toronto, two 
ether remarkable places. Finches Tarem, 
where we breakfasted at seven o'doek, was 
formerly the Old Stand, as it was so called, 
of the notorious Montgomery, another ge* 
neral, a tavern general of Mackenzie's, who 
moved to a place about four miles from the 
city, where the rebels were attacked in 18S7 
by Sir Francis Head, and near which the 
battle of Gallows Hill was fought. 

Montgomery was taken prisoner, sent to 
Kingston, and escaped by connivance, with 
several others, from the fortress there on a 
dark night, fell into a ditch, broke his leg, 
and afterwards was hauled by bis comrades 
over a high wall, and got across the St. Law- 
rence into the United States, where he was 
run over afterwards by a waggon and much 
injured. His tavern was burnt to the 
ground by the militia during the action^ on 


ftccount of the barbarous murder diere of 
Colonel Moodie, a reiy old retired ofiBcer^ 
who was filled by Mackenzie's orde(rs in cold 
blood. It is now rebuilt on a very extensive 
scale ; and he is again there, having been per* 
mitted to return, and his property, which was 
confiscated, has been restored to his creditors* 

Such were Mackenzie's intended govern* 
ment and the tools he was to govern by ! Such 
is the British government ! The Upper Cana* 
dians wisely preferred the latter. 

Next to Richmond Hill is Thomhili, all 
on the macadamized portion of the road to 
Toronto. Thornhill is a very pretty place, 
with a neat church and a dell, in which a 
river must formerly have meandered, but 
where now a streamlet runs to join Lake 
Ontario. Here are extensive milk, owned by 
Mr. Thome, a wealthy merchant, who ex- 
ports flour largely, the Yonge Street settle* 
ment being a grain country of vast extent; 
which not only supplies his mills, but the 
Red Mills, near Holland Landing, and many 


From Montgomery's Tavern to Toronto i» 
almost a continued series for four miles of 
gentlemen's seats and cottages, and, being a 
straight road, jou see the great lake for 
miles before its shores are reached. Large 
sums have been expended on this road, which 
is carried through a brick-clay soil, in which 
the Don has cut deep ravines, so that im- 
mense embankments and deep excavations hx 
the level have been requisite. 

Near Toronto, at Blue Hill, large brick 
yards are in operation, and here white brick 
is now made, of which a handsome specimen 
of church architecture has been lately erected 
in the west end of the city. Tiles, elsewhere 
not seen in Canada, are also manufactured 
near Blue Hill ; but they are not extensively 
nsed, the snow and high winds being un- 
favourable to their adoption, shingles or split 
wood being cheaper, and tinned iron plates 
more durable and less liable to accident. 

In most parts of Upper Canada, near the 
shores of the great lakes, you can build a 
house either of stone or brick, as ijt suits 


your fancy, for both these materials are plen* 
tiful, particularly clay ; but at Toronto there 
is no suitable building-stone ; plenty of clay, 
however, is found, for there you may build 
your house out of the very excavations for 
your cellars ; and I confess that I prefer a 
brick house in Canada to one of limestone, 
for the latter material imbibes moisture; 
and if a brick house has a good project- 
ing roof, it lasts very long, and is always 

It is surprising to observe the effects of the 
climate on buildings in this oountry. A good 
stone house, not ten years old, carefully built, 
and pointed between the joints of the ma- 
sonry with the best cement, requires a total 
repair after that period, and often before. 
The window-sills and lintels of limestone 
break and crack, and the chimneys soon be- 
come disjointed and unsafe. Although it 
may seem paradoxical, yet it is true that the 
woodwork of a house lasts good much longer 
than the stone, or rather the cement, which 
joins the stone ; but wood decays also 

VOL. I. K 


very rapidly. A bridge becomes rotten in 
ten years, and a shingled roof lasts only 
fifteen ; but then wood is never seasoned in 
America ; it would not pay. 



Toronto and the Transit — The ice and its innovations- 
Siege and storm of a Fortalice by the tce^king — Newark, 
or Niagara—Flags, big imd little — ^Views of American and 
of English institutions — ^Blacklegs and Races — Qolonialhigh 
life— Youth very young. 

Behold us again in Toronto at Macdonald's 
Hotel; and, as we shall have to visit this 
rising city frequently, we shall say very little 
more about it at present, but embark as 
speedily as possible on board the Transit, 
and steam over to Nia^ra. 

The Transit, a celebrated packet, now get- 
ting old, and commanded by a son of its 
well-known owner. Captain Richardson, starts 
always in summer at eight a. m. punctually, 
and makes her voyage by half-past eleven, at 
which hour, on the 5th day of July, we once 

K "i 


more touched the shore of Newark, or Nia- 
gara Town, at the Dock Company's wharf, 
which we found had been greatly damaged in 
the spring of the year by a most extraor- 
dinary ice phenomenon. 

At the breaking-up of the frost, the ice in 
the river Niagara, which came down the 
river, packed pear its mouth, and dammed it 
up so high at Queenston, seven miles above 
and close to the narrows, that the upper sur- 
face of the fields of ice was thirty feet above 
the level of the river, there a quarter of a 
mile broad or more. The consequence was, 
that every wharf and every building under 
this level was destroyed and crushed. Every 
edifice on the jbanks, and among others a 
strpng stone barrack, full of soldiers, was 
stormed by the frostfking, during the dark- 
uei^s of an awful night, and the front wall 
fairly breached and borne down by the ad- 
vaucipg masses of ice. The soldiers had 
barely time to escape from the crashing and 
rending walls ; and their cooking-house, a 
detached building, some yards from the bar- 


rack and higher up the bank, was turned 
over, as if it had been a small boat. 
. In the memory pf man, such a scene had 
never occurred before, and probably never will 
again ; and I have been told, by those who 
beheld it, that a more solemn display of natu- 
ral power and irresistible might has seldom 
been witnessed than that of the gradual 
grinding, heaving passage of one great floe, or 
field, of thiok-ribbed ice over the other, until 
that summit was gained which could not be 

Then came the disruption, the roar, the 
rush, the fury, the foam, the groaning thun- 
der, and the river flood ; the plunge and 
the struggle between the solid and the liquid 

Truly, the thundering water was well named 
by- the Indian of old — ^^E AW GAR AW is very 
Greek sounding. 

Newark, or, as it is now called, Niagara, 
but, as it should be named, Simcoe, is still a 
pretty, well laid-out town ; and, although it 
has scarcely had a new house built in it for 


many years past, is on the whole a very re- 
spectable place, and the capital of the dis- 
striot of Niagara, celebrated for its apple, 
peach, and cherry orchards. 

It has a good-looking church, and the 
living is a rectory. A Roman Catholic 
church stands close to the English, and a 
handsome Scots church is at the other end 
of the town. There is an ugly jail and Court- 
House about a mile in the country, and an 
excellent market, where every thing is cheap 
and good. 

Barracks far the Royal Canadian Rifle 
regiment stand on a large plain. Old Fort 
George, the scene of former battling, is in 
total ruin; and Fort Mississagua, with its 
square tower, looks frowningly at Fort 
Niagara, on the American side of the estuary 
of the Great River. I never see these rival 
batteries, for it is too magniloquent to style 
them fortresses, but they picture to my mind 
England and the United States. 

Mississagua looks careless and confident, 
with a little bit of a flag — ^the flag, however, 


of a thousand years, displayed, only on Sun- 
days and holidays, on a staff which looks 
something like that which the king-making 
Warwick tied his heraldic hear to. 

The antiquity and warlike renown of Eng- 
land sit equally and visibly impressed on the 
crest of the miserable Mississagua as on that 
of Gibraltar. 

Fort Niagara, an old French Indian stock- 
ade, modernized by the American engineers 
from time to time, half-lighthouse, half-for- 
tification, glaring with whitewashed walls, 
that may be seen almost at Toronto, with a 
flag-staff towering to the skies, and a flag 
which would cover the deck of a first-rate, 
displayed from morn to night, speaks of the 
new nation, whose pretensions must ever be 
put in plain view, and coiistantly tell the 
tale that America is a second edition of the 
best work of English industry and of British 
valour — ^a second edition interwoven, how- 
ever, with foreign matter, with French JiertS 
without French politesse^ with German mys- 
ticism without German learning, with the 


restless and rabid democracy of the whole 
world without the salutary check of venerable 
laws, and with that strange mixture of free- 
dom and slavery, of tolerance and intolerance, 
which distinguishes America of the nine- 
teenth century. 

But it is, nevertheless, a most extraordinary 
spectacle, to contemplate the rise and progress 
of the union in so short a period since the 
declaration of independence. 

An Irish gentleman, apparently a clergy- 
man, last year favoured the public with the 
result of an extensive tour in Canada and 
the United States, in "Letters from Ame- 

He starts in his preface with these remark- 
able expressions, which must be well con- 
sidered and analyzed, because they are the 
deliberate convictions of an observant and 
well-informed man, who had, moreover, sin- 
gular opportunities of reflecting upon the 
people he had so long travelled amongst. 

He says that " In energy, perseverance, en- 
terprise, sagacity, activity, and varied re- 


sources " the Americans infinitely surpass the 
British ; that he never met with ** a stupid 
American." That our " American children " 
surpass us not only in our good, but ** in our 
evil peculiarities." This I cannot understand; 
for, surely, if we have peculiarities, which 
there is no denying, they must by all the 
rules of logic be limited to ourselves. 

But the writer observes, in a paragraph 
too long for quotation, that they exceed us 
in materialism and in utilitarianism; that 
we, a nation of shopkeepers, as Napoleon 
styled the English, were outdone in the wor- 
ship of Mammon by them ; that we have re- 
jected too much the higher branches of art 
and science, and the cultivation of the aesthetic 
faculty — • what an abominable word aesthetic 
is ! it always puts me in mind of asthmatic, 
for it is broken-*winded learning. 

" Is it not common," says he, " in modern 
England to reject authorities both in Church 
and State, to look with contempt on the 
humbler and more peculiarly christian virtues 
of contentment and submission, and to cuU 

K 5 


tivate the intellectual at the expense of the 
moral part of aur natitre ? If these and other 
dangerous tendencies of a similar nature are 
at work among ourselves, as they undoubtedly 
are, it is useful and interesting to observe 
them in fuller (^eration and more unchecked 
luxuriance in America."* 

Now, it is very satisfactory, that the Ame- 
ricans, a race of yesterday, who have had no 
opportunity as yet of coping with the deep re- 
search and master-minds of Europe, should in 
half a century have leaped into such a position 
in the civilized world as to have exceeded the 
Ejiglisbman in all the most useful relations of 
life, as well as in all its darker and more dan- 
gerous features ; very satisfectory indeed that 
the mixed race peopling the United States 
should be better and worse than that nation 
to which the world, by universal consent, has 
yielded the palm of superiority in all the arts 
and in all the sciences of modern acquire- 

Wherein do the Americans exceed the sons 
of Britain ? In history, in policy, in poetry. 


in mathematics, in music, in painting, or in 
any of the gifts of the Muses ? Are they 
more renowned in the dreadful art of war ? or 
in the mild virtues of peace ? Is the fame of 
America a wonder and a terror to the four 
quarters of the globe?— We may fearlessly 
reply in the negative. The outer barbarian 
knows the American but as another kind of 
Englishman. It will yet take him some ceur 
turies to distinguish between the original and 
the offsprings 

It is, in short, as untenable as an axiom in 
policy or history, that the American exceeds 
the Briton in the development of mind, as it 
is that the American exceeds the Briton in the 
development of the baser qualities of our na« 

When the insatiate thirst for dollars, dollars, 
dollars, has subsided, then the American may 
justly rear his head as an aspirant for historic 
fame. His land has never yet produced a 
Shakespeare, a Johnson, a Milton, a Sp^nserJ; 
a Newton, a Bacon, a Locke, a Coke, or a 
Rennie. The utmost America has yet achieved 


is a very faint imitation of the least renowned 
of our great writers, Walter Scott. 

In diplomacy I deny also the palm. For 
although India is a case in point, like as 
Texas, yet even there we have never first 
planted a population with the express purpose 
of ejecting the lawful government, but have 
conquered where conquest was not only hailed 
by the enslaved people but was a positive 
benefit, by the introduction of mild and equi- 
table laws instead of brutal and bloody des- 
potisms. We have not snatched from a weak 
republic, whose principles had been expressly 
formed on our own model, that which poverty 
alone obliged it to relinquish. If the writer, 
who appears to be an excellent man and a 
good christian, had lived for several years on 
the borders of the eagerly desired Canada, I 
very much doubt whether he would have seen 
such a couleur de rose in the transactions of 
the mighty commonwealth, where the rulers 
are the ruled, and where education, intellect, 
integrity, innocence, and wealth must all alike 
bow before the Juggernaut of an unattainable 
perfection of equality. 


If Bill Johnson, the mail robber and smug- 
gler, is as good as William Pitt or any other 
William of superior mind, why then the sooner 
the millennium of democracy arrives the better. 
It is unfortunate for the present generation — 
what it will be for the next no man can pre- 
tend to say — that this debasing principle is 
gaining ground not only in Canada but in 
England. A reflecting mind has no objection 
to the creed that all men were created equal ; 
but history, sacred and profane, plainly shows 
that mind as well as matter is afterwards, for 
the wisest of purposes, very diflferently de- 

Does the meanest white American, the 
sweeper of Broadway, if there be such a citi- 
zen, believe in this perfection of equality 
amonofst men as a fundamental axiom of the 
rights of man? Place a black sweeper of 
crossings in juxtaposition, and the question 
will very soon solve itself. Wliy, the free 
and enlightened citizens will not even permit 
their black or coloured brethren to worship 
their common Creator in the same pew with 


themselves — ^it is horror, it is degradation! 
And yet there is a universal outcry about 
sacred liberty and equality all over the Union. 
The angels weep to witness the tricks of men 
placed in a little brief authority. Can such 
a state of things last as that, where the Irish 
labourer is treated as an inferior being in the 
scale of creation, and the Negro, or the off- 
spring of the Negro and the white, is branded 
with the stigma of servile? It cannot — it will 
not. Either let democracy assume its true 
and legitimate features, or let it cease— for 
the re-action will be a fearful one, as dread 
and as horribly diabolical as that which the 
folly of the aristocracy of old France brought 
on that devoted land. 

I have said, and I repeat it, that a residence 
on the borders of Canada and the United 
States for some time will cure a reflecting 
mind of many long cherished notions concern- 
ing the relative merits of a limited monarchy 
and of a crude democracy. 

The man who views the border people of 
the United States with calm observation will 


soon come to the conclusion that a state of 
government, if it maj be so called, where the 
commonest ruffian asserts privileges which the 
most educated and refined mind never dreams 
of, is not an enviable order of things. 

In the first fury of a war with England, 
who were the promoters? the mob* on the 
borders. Who hoped for a new sympathy de- 
monstration, in order to annex Canada? the 
people of the Western States, who, far re- 
moved from the possibility of invasion, valiantly 
resolve to carry fire and sword among their 
unoffending brethren. 

The intelligence and the wealth of the 
United States are passive ; they are physically 
weak, and therefore succumb to the dictation 
of the rude masses. And what keeps up this 
singular action, but the constantly- recurring 
elections, the incessant balloting and voting, 
the necessity which every man feels hourly of 
saving his substance or his life from the de- 
vouring rapacity of those who think that all 
should be equal ! 

If the government, acutely sensible that war 


is an evil which must cripple its resources, is 
unwilling to engage in it, both from principle 
and from patriotism, it must yield if the mob 
wills it, or forfeit the sweets of office and of 
power. Hence, few men enter upon the cares 
of public life in the States now-a-dajs who 
are of that frame of mind which considers 
personal expediency as worthy of deep reflec- 
tion. What would Washington have said to 
such a system ? 

The batteries or fortalices of Niagara and 
of Mississagua have led to a digression quite 
unintentional and unforeseen, which must ter- 
minate for the present with a different view 
from that of the author of the Letters above- 
mentioned : and let us hope fervently that the 
New World has not yet arrived at such a con- 
summation as that of surpassing the vices 
and crimes of the Old, as we are certain 
it has not yet achieved such a moral vic- 
tory as that of outrunning it in the race of 
scientific or mechanic fame. England is no 
more in her dotage than America is in her 
nonage. The former, without vanity or want 


of verity be it spoken, is as pre-eminent as 
the latter is honestly and creditably aspir- 

The writer above quoted says their ships 
sail better, and are manned with fewer hands. 
We grant that no nation excels the United 
States in ship-building, and that they build 
vessels expressly for sailing ; but for one En- 
glish ship lost on the ocean, there are three 
of the venturous Americans ; for one steam- 
vessel that explodes, and hurls its hundreds 
to destruction, in England or Canada, there 
are twenty Americans. 

In England, the cautious, the slow and the 
sure plan prevails ; in America, the go-ahead, 
reckless, dollar-making principle prevails ; 
and so it is through every other concern of 
life. A hundred ways of worshipping the 
Creator, after the christian form, exist in 
America, where half a dozen suffice in Eng- 

Time is money in America ; the meals are 
hurried over, relaxations necessary to the 
enjoyment of existence forbidden — ^and what 


for ? to make money. To what end ? to spend 
it faster than it is made, and then to begin 
again. You have only a faint shadow of the 
immense wealth realized in England by that 
of the merchant or the shopkeeper in the 
States. Capital there is constantly in a rapid 
consumption ; and as the people engaged in 
the feverish excitement of acquiring it are in 
the latter country, from their habits, short- 
lived, so the opposite fact exhibits itself in 
England. There are no Rothschilds, no rail- 
way kings in America. Time and the man 
will not admit of it. John Jacob Astor is an 
exception to this fact. 

On landing at Niagara, the difference of 
climate between it and Toronto is at once per- 
ceived. Here you are on sandy, there on 
clayey soil. Here all is heat, there moisture. 
I tried hard for several seasons to bring the 
peach to perfection at Toronto, only thirty-six 
miles from Niagara, without success; at 
Niagara it grows freely, and almost spon- 
taneously, as well as the quince. The fields 
and the gardens of Niagara are a fortnight or 


more in advance of those of Toronto. Strange 
that the passage of the westerly winds across 
Ontario should make such a difference ! 

Niagara is a grand racing-stand, where all 
the loafers of the neighbouring republic con- 
gregate in the autumn ; I was unfortunately 
present at the last races, and never desire to 
repeat my visit at that season. Blacklegs 
and whitelegs prevail ; and the next morning 
the course was strewed with the bodies of 
drunken vagabonds. It appears to me very 
strange that the gentry of the neighbourhood 
suffer a very small modicum of ephemeral 
newspaper notoriety to get the better of their 
good sense. The patronage of such a race- 
course as that of Niagara, so far from being 
an honour, is the reverse. It is too near the 
frontier to be even decently respectable ; nor 
is the course itself a good one, for the sand 
is too deep. Many a young gentleman of 
Toronto, who thinks that he copies the aris- 
tocracy of England by patronizing the turf, 
finds out to his own loss and sorrow that it 
would have been much better to have had his 


racing qualifications exhibited nearer his own 
door ; and there cannot possibly be a greater 
colonial mistake committed than to fancy 
that grooms, stable - boys, and blacklegs, 
are now the advisers and companions of oar 
juvenile nobility. — That day has passed ! 

It is very unfortunate that very false ideas 
exist in some of the colonies of the manners 
and customs of high life in England. The 
grown-up people often fancy that cold re- 
serve, and an assumption of great state, in- 
dicate high birth and breeding. The younger 
branches seem frequently to think that there 
is no such thing at home as the period of 
adolescence ; consequently, you often see a 
pert young master deliver his unasked opinion 
and behave before his seniors and superiors as 
though he wanted to intimate that he was 
wiser in his generation than they. 

In crossing to Niagara, we had a specimen of 
the precocious colonist of 1845. The table of 
the captain of the boat, like that of his re- 
spected father, was good and decorously con- 
ducted, and there were several ladies and some 


most respectable travelled Americans at dinner. 
A very young gentleman, who boasted how 
much he had lo3t at the races, how much 
they had gambled, and how much they drank 
of champagne the night before— champagne, 
by the by, is thought a very aristocratic drink 
among psuedo-great men, although it is com- 
mon as ditch-water in the United States — 
engrossed the whole conversation of the 
dinner-table, picked his teeth, took up the 
room of two, called the waiter fifty times, 
and ended by ordering the cheese to be 
placed on the table before the pies and 
puddings were removed. The company pre- 
sent rose before the dessert appeared, tho- 
roughly disgusted ; and I afterwards saw 
this would-be man peeping into the win- 
dows of th€ ladies'-cabin, and performing 
a thousand other antic tricks, cigar in mouth, 
for which he would in England have met 
with his deserts. 

The precociousness of Transatlantic children 
is not confined to the United States — it is 
equally and unpleasantly visible in Canada. 


The Americans who travel, I can safely say, 
are not guilty of these monstrous absurdities. 
I have crossed the Atlantic more than once 
with boys of from seventeen to twenty, who 
have left college to make the grand tour, 
without ever observing any thing to find fault 
with. The American youth is observant, and 
soon discovers that attempting to do the cha- 
racter of men before his time in the society 
of English strangers invariably lowers instead 
of raising an interest. 

There is a good caricature of this in an 
American book, I forget its title, written some 
time ago, to show the simplicity, gullibility, 
and vindictivness of our TroUopean travellers. 
It is a boy of sixteen, or thereabouts, cigar 
in the comer of his mouth, hat cocked on 
three curls, and all the modem etceteras of a 
complete youth, saying to his father, " Here, 
take my boots, old fellow, and clean them/* 
The father looks a little amazed, upon which 
the manikin ejaculates, " Why don't you take 
them ? what's the use of having a father ?'* 

There will be a railway smash in this, as 


as well as in the locomotive mania. Re- 
publicanism towards elders and parents is un- 
natural ; the child and the man were not bom 

I remember reading in a voluminous ao* 
count of the terrors of the French revolution 
a remarkable passage: — servants denounced 
masters, debtors denounced creditors, women 
denounced husbands, children denounced pa- 
rents, youth denounced protecting age ; gra- 
titude was unknown ; a favour conferred led 
to the guillotine : but never, never in that awful 
period, in that reign of the vilest passions of 
our nature over reason, waes there one instance, 
one single instance, of a parent denouncing 
its child. 

It is not a good sign when extreme youth 
pretends to have discovered the true laws of 
the universe, when the son is_ wiser than the 
father, or when immature reason usurps the 
functions of the ripened faculties. 

I have put this together because I hear 
hourly parents deprecating the system of edu- 
cation in the greatest city of Western Canada; 


because I hear and see children of fourteen 
swaggering about the streets with all the con- 
sequence of unfledged men, smoking cigars, 
frequenting tavern-bars and billiard-rooms, 
and no doubt led by such unbridled license 
into deeper mysteries and excesses ; because 
I hear clergymen lament that boys of that 
age lose their health by excesses too difficult 
of belief to fancy true. Surely a salutary 
check in time may be applied to such an evil. 
But liberty and equality, as I said before, 
are extending on both sides of the Atlantic : 
and in their train come these evils, simply 
because liberty and equality are as much mis- 
understood as real republicanism and limited 
monarchy are. 



The old Canadian Ccracli — Jonathan and. John Bull pas- 
Bengers — "That Gentleman" — ^Beautiful Riyer, beantifhl 
driye—Brock*8 Monument — Queenston — ^Bar and Fulpitr— 
Trotting horse Bailroad— ^Awfiil accidents— The Falls onee 
more— Speculation — Water priyilege — BarlMui^ — ^Mu- 
seum — ^Loafers — ^Tulip-trees — Rattlesnakes — The Burning 
Spring — Setting fire to Niagara — ^A charitable Woman 
•—The Nigger*s Parrot — John Bull is a Yankee — Political 
Courtship— Lundy*s Lane — ^Heroine-— Welland Canal. 

I can make no stay at Niagara for the 
present; but, after resting awhile at Howard's 
Inn, which is the most respectable one in the 
town, proceed in his coach to Queenston, 

The old Canadian coach has not yet quite 
Tanished before modem improyement. It is 
a mighty heavy, clumsy conveniency, hung on 
leather springs, and looking for all the world 
as if elephants alone could move it along; 
and, if it should upset, like Falstaff, it may 
ask for levers to lift it up again, 

TOL. I. h 


We had on board the coach an American, of 
the species Yankee, a thorough bluff, rosy, her- 
culean, Yorkshire farmer, and several highly 
respectable females. 

I will not say Jonathan did not spit before 
them, for he is to the manner born ; but, al- 
though of inferior grade, if there can be such 
a thing mentioned respecting a citizen of the 
United States, and particularly of " the Empire 
State,*' of which he was, to his credit be it 
said, he treated the females with that cour- 
tesy, rough as it is, which seems innate with 
all Americans. 

A stormy discussion arose on the part 
of John Bull, who hated slavery, disliked 
spitting, got angry about Brock's monument, 
and, in short, looked down with no small 
share of contempt upon the man of yester- 
day, whose ideas of right and wrong were 
so diametrically opposed to his own, and who 
very sententiously expressed them. 

John told him that the only thing he had 
never heard in his travels through the Northern 
and Western. States — ^where he had been to 




look at the land with a view to purchase, 
either there or in Canada, as might be most 
advisable — the only thing he had never heard 
was that all the citizens of the United States 
were all " gentlemen." 

" I guess you didn't hear with both ears, 
then, for you always must have remarked that 
whenever one citizen spoke of another, he said 
* that gentleman/ " 

John laughed outright. "No, friend, I 
never did hear your white gentlemen call a 
nigger * that gentleman ;* so, you see, all your 
folks ain't equal, and all ain't gentlemen. 
Here, in Canada, I have heard a blacky called 
''that gentleman;' and, by George, if many 
more of your runaway slaves cross the border, 
they will soon be the only gentlemen in 
Canada, for they are getting very impudent 
and very numerous.'' 

This is, in a measure, true ; such troops of 
escaped negroes are annually forwarded to 
Canada by the abolitionists that the Western 
frontier is overrun already, aud the impudence 
of these newly free knows no bounds. But 


they cordially hate hoth the Southern slave- 
holders and the abolitionists. 

Talking of slavery, pray read an account of 
it from an American of the Northern States. 

New Orleans, January 26, 1846. 
A man may be no abolitionist — I am 
not one; he may think but little on the 
subject of slavery — ^it has never troubled me 
one way or the other : but let him mark 
the records of the glorious battles of the Re- 
volution ; let him notice the Eagle of Liberty, 
and all the emblems of Independence, Free- 
dom, and the rights of man ; let him muse on 
the thoughts they awaken, and then behold 
the actualities of life around him. Suddenly 
the sharp rap of an auctioneer's hammer 
startles him, and the loud striking of the hour 
of twelve will divert his attention to the 
throng of men around him, and the appear- 
ance of three or four men on raised stands in 
different parts of the Rotunda, who are calling 
the attention of those around him, at the same 
time unrolling a hand -bill that the stranger 



lias noticed in the most conspicaous places in 
the city, printed in French and English, an« 
nouncing the sale of a lot of fine, likely slaves ; 
at the same time, he observes maps of real 
estates spread out — everything in fact around 
him denoting a ^ busy mart where men do con- 
gregate,' as it really is. 

The auctioneer, making the moat noise, 
attracts his attention first ; joining the crowd 
in front of the stand, he observes twelve or 
fifteen negroes of all ages and both sexes 
standing in a line to the left of the auc« 
tioneer ; they are comfortably, and some of 
them neatly dressed, particularly the women^ 
with their yellow Madras handkerchiefs tied 
around their heads, and their bright, showy 
dresses ; but they have a look that irresistibly 
causes him to think back for a comparison to 
the objects before him, and it seems strange that 
it should bring to mind some market or field 
where he has sometimes seen cattle offered for 
sale, whose saddened look seemed to forbode 
some evil to them ; but the animal look is 
somewhat redeemed by the smiles and plays 


of the little piccaninieSj who seem to wonder 
why they are there, with so many men look- 
ing at them. — ^Now for business. 

" * Maria, step up here. There, gentlemen, 
is a fine, likely wench, aged twenty-five ; she 
is warranted healthy and sound, with the ex- 
ception of a slight lameness in the left leg, 
which does not damage her at alL Step 
down, Maria, and walk.' The woman gets 
down, and steps off eight or ten paces, and 
returns with a slight limp, eyidently with 
some pain, but doing her best to conceal 
her defect of gait. The auctioneer is a 
Frenchman, and announces everything alter- 
nately in French and English. * Now, gen* 
tlemen, what is bid ? she is warranted, elle 
est gurantie, and sold by a very respectable 
citizen. 250 dollars, deux cent et cinquante 
dollars : why, gentlemen, what do you mean ! 
Get down, Maria, and walk a little more. 
S75, deux cent soixante et quinze, 300, trois 
cents ! — ^go on, gentlemen — 326, trois cents 
et vingt cinq ! once, twice, ah ! 350, trois 
cents et cinquante : une fois ! deux fois ! 


going, gone, for 350 dollars. A great bar* 
gain, gentlemen.' 

"My attention is called to the opposite 
side of the room : ' Here, gentlemen, is a 
likely little orphan yellow girl, six years old — 
what is bid? combien? thirty-five dollars, 
trente cinq, fifty dollars, cinquaute dollars, 
thank you/ Finally, she is knocked down at 
seventy-five dollare« 

** Why, there is a whole family on that other 
stand ; let us see them. * There, gentlemen, 
is a fine lot : Willy, aged thirty-five, an ex- 
pert boy, a good carpenter, brickmaker, driver, 
in fact, can do anything, il sait faire tout. 
His wife, Betty, is thirty-three, can wash, cook, 
wait on the table, and make herself generally 
useful ; also their boy George, five years old ; 
you will observe, gentlemen, that Betty est 
enceinte. Now what is bid for this valuable 
family V After a lively competition, they are 
bid off at 1,550 dollars, the whole family. 

" As I have before remarked, everything is 
done in French and English ; even the negroes 
speak both languages. I saw one poor old 

$34 Canada AN0 

negro, about sixty, put up, but withdrawn, ad 
only 270 dollars were bid for him. While 
waiting to be sold, they are examined and 
questioned by the purchasers. One yon^ 
girl, about sixteen or eighteen, was being in-* 
spected by an elderly, stem, sharp-eyed, horse- 
jockey looking man, who sported his gold 
chains, diamond pin, rufl9es, and cane : ' How 
old are you V * I don't know, sir/ * Do you 
know how to eat V * Everybody does that,* 
she said sullenly. 

" Passing up the Esplanade next morning, 
(Sunday) I saw some forty or fifty very fine- 
looking negroes and negresses, all neatly 
dressed, standing on a bench directly in front 
of a building, which I took to be a meeting 
or school house: walking by, a genteel- 
looking man stepped up and asked me if I 
wished to buy a likely boy or girl. Telling 
him I was a stranger, and asking for informa- 
tion, he told me it was one of the slave-mar- 
kets ; that they stood there for examination, 
and that he had sold 500,000 dollars worth 
and sent them off that morning. 


*' The above facts are some of the singular 
features (to a Northerner) of this remarkable 
place, and I assure you that I ^ nothing ex- 
tenuate, or set down aught in malice ;' but 
may the time come when even a black man 
may say, ^ I am a man !' 

" Northrop.'* 

I once relieved a poor black wretch who 
was starving in the streets of Kingston, and 
told him where to go to get proper advice 
and protection : all the thanks I received were 
that he was sony he ran away, for he had 
been a waiter somewhere in the South, and 
got a good many dollars by his situation ; 
whereas, he said, Canada was a poor country, 
and he had no hope of thriving in it. 

The lower class of negroes in Canada, for 
there are several classes among even runaways, 
are very frequently dissolute, idle, impudent, 
and assuming — so difficult is it for poor 
uneducated human nature to bear a little 

The coloQied people, if they get at all up 



in the world, assume vast airs, but there 
are very many well-conducted people among 
them. As yet neither coloured people nor 
negroes hare made much advance in Ca- 

John Bull had visited almost every portion 
of the Northern and Western States, was a 
shrewd, observing character, and had come to 
the conclusion, which he^ very plainly ex- 
pres^d, that the state of society in the Union 
was not to his taste, that he could procure 
lands as cheap and as good for his gold in 
Canada, and that to Canada he would bring 
his old woman and his children. 

" For," said he, " in the London or Western 
districts of Upper Canada, the land is equal 
to any in the United States, the climate 
better, and by and by it will supply all 
Europe with grain. Settling there, an Eng- 
lishman will not always be put in mind of the 
inferiority of the British to the Americans, 
will not always be told that kings and queens 
are childish humbugs, and will not have his 
work hindered and his mind poisoned by 

— ' - 


constant elections and everlasting grasping 
for oflSce, 

" While,'* says John to Jonathan, " I am in 
Canada, just as free as you are ; I pay no 
taxes, or only such as I control myself, and 
which are laid out in roads, or for my benefit. 
I can worship after the manner of my 
fathers, without being robbed or burnt out, 
And I meet no man who thinks himself a bit 
better than myself; but, as I shall take care 
to settle a good way from republican sym- 
pathizers for the sake of my poor property, I 
shall always find my neighbours as proud of 
Queen Victoria as I be myself." 

Jonathan replied that he had no manner of 
doubt that Miss Victoria was a real lady, for 
every female is a lady in the States ; the word 
being understood only as an equivalent for 
womankind, and that John might like pet- 
ticoat government, but, for his part, he cal- 
culated it was better to be a king one's-self, 
which every citizen of the enlightened re- 
public was, and no mistake. 

And kings they are, for all power resides 


there, in the body of which he was a favour- 
able specimen, but which does not always 
show its members in so fair a light. 

I do not know any coach ride in British 
America more pleasing than that from Niagara 
to Queenston. You cross a broad green com- 
mon, with the expanse of Lake Ontario on one 
side, the forest and orchard on the other ; and, 
after passing through a little coppice, sud- 
denly come upon the St. Lawrence, rolling a 
tranquil flood towards the great lake below. 

High above its waters, on the edge of the 
sharp precipitous bank, covered with trees — 
oak, birch, beech, chestnut, and maple — ^runs 
the sandy road, bordered by corn-fields, by 
orchards, and occasionally by little patches of 
woodland, looking for all the world like Old 
England, excepting that that unpicturesque 
snake fence spoils the illusion. 

Now, bright and deep, rolls the giant flood 
onward ; now it is hidden by a turn of the 
bank; now, glittering, it again appears between 
the trees. Thus you travel until within a 
couple of miles or so of Queenston, when, the 


road leaving the bank, and the river forming 
a large bay-like bend, a splendid view breaks 

You catch a distant glimpse of that nar- 
row pass, where a wall of rock, two hundred 
feet high on each side, and somewhat higher 
on the American shore, vomits forth the pent- 
up angry Niagara. Above this wall, to the 
right and left, towers the mountain ridge, 
covered with forest to the south, and with the 
greenest of grass to the north, where, stately 
and sad, stands the pillar under whose base 
moulder the bones of the gallant Brock, and 
of Mac Donell, his aide-de-camp. 

Rent from summit to base, tottering to its 
fall, is Brock's monument, and yet the villain 
who did the deed that destroyed it lives, and 
dares to show his face on the neighbouring 

I cannot conceive^in beautiful scenery any 
thing more picturesque than the gorge of the 
Niagara river: it combines rapid water, a 
placid bay, a tremendous wall of rock, forest, 
glade, village, column, active and passive life. 


Queenston is a poor place; it has never 
gained an inch since the war of 1812; but, 
as a railroad has been established, and a 
wharf is building in connection with it, it 
will go ahead. Opposite to it is Lewiston, 
in the United States, less ancient and time- 
worn, full of gaudily-painted wooden houses, 
and with much more pretension. Queenston 
looks like an old English hamlet in decay ; 
melancholy and miserable; Lewiston is the 
type of newness, all white and green, all un- 
finished and all uncomfortable. 

The odious bar-room system of the Northern 
States is fast sweeping away all vestiges of 
English comfort. The practice of lounging, 
cigar in mouth, sipping juleps and alcoholic 
decoctions in common with smugglers and 
small folk, is fast unhinging society. The 
plan of social economy in the mercantile 
cities is rapidly spreading over the whole 
Union, and the fashion of ladies' drawing- 
rooms being absorbed into the parlour of an 
hotel or boarding-house has brought about 
a change which the next generation will 


It is the restless rage for politics, the ever 
present desire for dollars, which has brought 
about this state of things ; the young husband 
seeks the bar-room as a merchant does the 
Change; and thus, except in the wealthy 
class, or among the contemplative and re* 
tired, there is no such thing as private life in 
the northern cities and towns. Huge taverns, 
real wooden gin palaces, tower over the tops 
of all other buildings, in every border village, 
town, and city ; and a good bar is a better 
business than any other. Thus in Lewiston, 
in Bufialo, in short, in every American border 
town, the best building is the tavern, and the 
next best the meeting-house ; both are fash* 
ionable, and both are anything but what they 
should be ; for he who keeps the best liquors, 
and he who preaches most pointedly to the 
prevailing taste, makes the most of his trade. 
The voluntary system is a capital speculation 
to the publican as well as to the parson ; but, 
unfortunately, it is more general with the 
former than with the latter. 

The Niagara frontier is a rich and a fertile 


portion of Canada, surrounded almost bj 
water, and intersected by rivers, and the 
Welland Canal, with an undulating surface 
in the interior. It grows wheat, Indian 
corn, and all the cereal gramina to perfec- 
tion, whilst Pomona lavishes favours on it; 
nor are its woods less prolific and luxuriant. 
Here the chestnut, with its deep green foli- 
age and its white flowers, forms a pleasing 
variety to the sylvan scenery of Canada. 

It would be, from its healthiness alone, the 
pleasantest part of Canada to live in, but it is 
too near the borders where sympathizers, 
more keen and infinitely more barbarous than 
those on the ancient Tweed, render property 
and life rather precarious ; and, therefore, in 
war or in rebellion, the Niagara frontier is not 
an enviable abode for the peaceable farmer or 
the timid female. 

The ascent to the plateau above Queenston 
is grand, and the view from the summit very 
extensive and magnificent ; embracing such a 
stretch of cultivated land, of forest, of the 
habitations of men, and of the apparently 


boundless Ontario, the Beautiful Lake, that 
it can scarcely be rivalled. 

The railroad has, however, spoiled a good 
deal of this ; it runs from the summit of the 
mountain, along its -side or flank, inland to 
Chippewa, beyond the Falls; and you are 
whirled along, not by steam, but by three 
trotting horses, at a rapid rate, through a 
wood road, until you reach the Falls, where 
you obtain just a glimpse and no more of the 

On the top of the mountain, as a hill four 
or five hundred feet above the river is called, 
is a place which was the scene of an awful 
accident. The precipice wall of the gorge of 
the Niagara is very close to the road, but 
hidden from it by stunted firs and bushes. 
Colonel Nichols, an officer well known and 
distinguished in the last American war, was 
returning one winter's night, when the fresh 
snow rendered all tracks on the road im- 
perceptible, in his sleigh with a gallant 
horse. Merrily on they went ; the night was 
darky and the road makes a sudden turn just 


at the brink, to descend by a circuitous sweep 
the face of the hill into Queenston. Either 
the driver or the horse mistook the path, and, 
instead of turning to the left, went on edging 
to the right. 

The next day search was made : the marks 
of struggling were observed on the snow ; the 
horse had evidently observed his danger ; he 
had floundered and dashed wildly about ; but 
horse, sleigh, and driver, went down, down, 
down, at least two hundred feet into the 
abyss below ; and sufficient only remained to 
bear witness to the terrific result. 

The railroad (three horse power) takes you 
to the Falls or to Chippewa. If you intend 
visiting the former, and desire to go to the 
Clifton House, the best hotel there, you are 
dropped at Mr. Lanty Mac Gilly's, where the 
four roads meet, one going to the Ferry, one 
to Drummondville, a village at Lundy's Lane, 
now cut off from the main road ; the other 
you came by, and the continuation of which 
goes to Chippewa, where a steamer, called the 
Emerald, is ready to take you to the city of 


BafFalo in the United States. As I shall return 
by way of Buffalo from the extreme west of 
Canada, we will say not a word about any 
thing further on this route at present than 
the Falls, and perhaps the reader may think 
the less that is said about them the better. 

But, gentle reader, although it be a well- 
worn tale, I had not seen the Falls for five 
years, and I wish to tell you whether they are 
altered or improved ; and most likely you will 
take some little interest in so old a friend as 
the Falls of Niagara ; for you must have read 
about those before you read Robinson Crusoe, 
and have had them thrust under your notice 
by every tourist, from TroUope to Dickens. 
They say, on dit^ I mean, which is not trans- 
latable into English, that this is the age of 
Materialism and Utilitarianism. By Greorge, 
you would think so indeed, if you had 
the chance of seeing the Falls of Niagara 
twice in ten years. They are materiaUy 
injured by the Utilitarian mania. The Yankees 
put an ugly shot tower on the brink of the 
Horseshoe at the beginning of that era, and 


thej are about to consummate the barbarism^ 
by throwing a wire bridge, if the British go- 
vernment is consenting, over the river, just 
below the American Fall« But Niagara is a 
splendid " Water Privilege," and so thought 
the Company of the City of the Falls — a most 
enlightened body of British subjects, who first 
disfigured the Table Rock, by putting a water- 
mill on it, and now are adding the horror of 
gin - palaces, with sundry ornamental booths 
for the sale of juleps and sling, all along the 
venerable edge of the precipice, so that 
trees of unequalled beauty on the bank 
above, trees which grow no where else in 
Canada, are daily falling before the monster 
of gain. 

What they will do next in their freaks it 
is difficult to surmise; but it requires very 
little more to show that patriotism, taste, 
and self-esteem, are not the leading features 
in the character of the inhabitants of this part 
of the world. 

If the Colossus of Rhodes could be re- 
modelled and brought to the Falls, one leg 


standing in Canada, and the other in the 
United States, there would he a company im- 
mediately formed for hydraulic purposes, to 
convey a waste pipe from the tips of the 
fingers as far as Buffalo ; and another to light 
the paltry village of Manchester, all mills 
and mint-juleps, with the natural gas which 
would be made to feed the lamp. A grog- 
shop would be set up in his head ; telescopes 
would be poked out of his eyes, and philo- 
sophers would seat themselves on his toes, to 
calculate whether the waters of the British 
Fall could not be dammed out, so as to turn a 
few cotton mills more in Man-chester, as it is 
called, which scheme some Canadian worthy 
would upset, by resorting to Mr. Lyell's proof 
that the whole river might once have flowed, 
and may again be made to flow, down to 
St. David's — thus, by expending a few mil- 
lions, cutting off Jonathan's chance. 

But it is of no use to joke on this subject j 
Niagara is, both to the United States and to 
England, but especially to Canada, a public 
property. It is the greatest wonder of the 


visible world here below, and should be pro- 
tected from the rapacity of private specu- 
lations, and not made a Greenwich fair of; 
where pedlars and thimble-riggers, niggers 
and barkers, the lowest trulls and the vilest 
scum of society, congregate to disgust and 
annoy the visitors from all parts of the world, 
plundering and pestering them without con- 

The only really pretty thing on the British 
side is the Museum, the result of the inde- 
fatigable labours of Mr. Bamett, a person 
who, by his own unassisted industry, has 
gathered together a most interesting collec- 
tion of animals, shells, coins, &c., and has 
added a garden, in which all the choicest 
plants and flowers of North America and of 
Britain grow, watered by the incessant spray 
of tihe Great Fall. In this garden I saw, for 
the first time in Canada, the English holly, 
the box, the heath, and the ivy ; and there 
is a willow from the St. Helena stock. 

It requires unremitting watchfulness, how- 
ever, to keep all this together, for loafers are 


rife in these parts. He had gathered a very 
choice collection of coins, which was placed 
in a glass case in the Museum. A loafer cast 
his eye upon them, visited the Museum fre- 
quently, until he fully comprehended the 
whereabouts, and then, by the help of a com- 
rade or two, broke a window-pane, passed 
through a glazed division of stuffed snakes, 
&c., and bore off his prize in the dead of the 
night. By advertising in time, and by dint 
of much exertion, the greater part was re- 
covered, but the proprietor has not dared 
publicly to exhibit them since. 

He is now forming a menagerie, and also 
has a collection of fossils and minerals from 
the neighbourhood, with a camera obscura. 
He is, in short, a specimen of what untiring 
industry can accomplish, even when un- 

There are some tulip-trees near the Falls, 
but this plant does not grow to any size so 
far north ; and, although native to the soil, 
it is, perhaps, the extreme limit of its range. 
The snake-wood, a sort of slender bush, is 


found here, with very many other rare 
Canadian plants, which are no doubt fostered 
by the continual humidity of the place ; and, 
if you wish to sup full of horrors,^ Mr. Bar- 
nett has plenty of live rattlesnakes. 

To wind up all, the Americans are going 
to put up another immense gin-palace on the 
opposite shore ; and, as a climax to the ex- 
cellent taste of the vicinage, they are about 
to place a huge steamboat to cross the rapids 
At the foot of the Manchester Falls.* The 
next speculation, as I hinted above, must be 
to turn the Niagara into the Erie, or into the 
Welland Canal, and make it carry flour, 
grind wheat, and do the duty which the 
political economists of this thriving place 
consider all rivers as alone created for. 

One traveller of the Utilitarian school has 
recorded, in the traveller's album at the Falls, 

^ This puts me in mind of the vulgar received opinion 
that my godfkther Fuseli supped on pork-steaks, to have 
horrid dreams. OriginaUy said in joke, this absurd story 
has been repeated even by persons affecting respectability 
as writers. His Greek learning alone should have saved 
his memory from this. 


the number of gallons of water running over 
to waste per minute; and another writes, 
" What an almighty splash !" 

I went once more to see the Burning 
Spring, and have no doubt whatever that the 
City of the Falls, that great pre-eminent 
humbug, if it had been built, might have 
easily been lit by natural gas, as it abounds 
every where in the neighbourhood, the rock 
under the superior Silurian limestone being 
a shale containing it, as may be evidenced by 
those visitors, who are persuaded to go under 
" the Sheet of Water," as the place is called 
where the Table Rock projects, and part of the 
cataract slides over it ; for, on reaching the 
angle next to the spiral stair, a strong smell 
is plainly perceptible, something between 
rotten eggs and sulphur ; and there you find 
a little trickling spring oozing out of the pre- 
cipice tasting of those delectable compounds. 

A Yankee, with the soaring imagination of 
that imaginative race, proposes to set fire to 
the Horse-shoe Fall, and thus get up a grand 
nocturnal exhibition, to which the Surrey 

VOL. I. M 


Zoological pyrotechny would bear the same 
ratio as a sky-rocket to Vesuvius. 

There 4s no great impossibility in thi^ fact, 
if it was " not a fact" that the rush of the 
Fall disturbs the superincumbent gases too 
much to permit it ; for there can be but little 
doubt that there is plenty of materiel at hand, 
and, some day or other, a lighthouse will be 
lit with it to guide sleepy loons and other 
negligent water-fowl over the Falls. I won- 
der they do not get up a Carburetted Hy- 
drogen Gas Company there, with a suitable 
engineer and railway, so that visitors might 
cross over to Goat Island on an atmospheric 
line. There are plenty of railway stags on 
both sbores, if you will only buy their stock 
to establish it ; and, at all events, it would 
improve the City of the Falls, which now 
exhibits the deplorable aspect of three stuc- 
coed cottages turned seedy, and a bare com- 
mon, in place of a magnificent grove of 
chestnut trees, which formerly almost rival- 
led Greenwich Park; 

But the crowning glory of " the City" is 


the Reflecting Pagoda, a thing perched over 
Table Rock bank, very like a huge pile en- 
gine, with a ten-shilling mirror, where the 
monkey should be. Blessings on Time ! 
though he is a very thoughtless rogue, he has 
touched this grand effort of human genius in 
the wooden line slightly, and it will soon 
follow the horrid water-mill which stood on 
that most singular and indescribable freak of 
Nature, the Table Rock. I would have for- 
given Lett, the sympathizer, if, instead of 
assassination and the blowing-up of Brock's 
Monument, he had confined his attentions to 
a little serious Guy Fauxing at the Mill and 
the Reflecting Pagoda. 

Niagara — ^Ne-aw-gaw-rah, thou thundering 
water ! thy glories are departing ; the abomi- 
nable Railway Times has driven along thy 
borders ; and, if I should live to see thee 
again ten years hence, verily I should not be 
astounded to find thee locked-up, and a 
station-house staring me in the visage, from 
that emerald bower, in thy most mysterious 
recess, where the vapour is rose-coloured, and 

M 2 


the bright rainbow alone now fonns the bridge 
from the Iris Rock ! 

I was so disgusted to see the spirit of pelf, 
that concentration of self, hovering over one 
of the last of the wonders of the world, that 
I rushed to the Three Horse Railway, and 
soon forgot all my misery in scrambling for a 
place ; for there was no alternative. There 
were only three carriages and one open cart 
on the rail ; the three aristocratic conveniences 
were full ; atnd the coal-box — for it looked 
very like one — was full also, of loafers and 
luggage ; so I despaired of quitting the Falls 
almost as much, by way of balance, as I 
rejoiced when they once again met my ken. 

But women are women all the world over ; 
a black lady nursed Mungo Park, when he 
was abandoned by the world ; and a chari- 
table she-Samaritan crowdged to make room 
for a disconsolate wayfarer. 

I felt very much as the nigger's parrot at 
New York did. 

Blacky was selling a parrot, and a gentle- 
man asked him what the bird could do. Could 


he speak well? ^^No, massa; no peaky at 
all." "Can he sing?" — ** No, massa; no 
peaky, no singy." " Why, what can he do, 
then, that you ask twenty dollars for him ? 
" Oh! massa, golly, he thinky dreadful much. 
So, when the daughter of Eve made way for 
me in the rail-car, why I thinky very much, 
that, wherever a stranger meets unexpected 
kindness, it is sure to be a woman that 
offers it. 

There were the usual host of American tra- 
vellers in the cars ; and as one generally gets 
a fund of anecdote and amusement on these 
occasions^ from their habits of communica- 
tiveness, I shall put the English reader in 
possession of the meaning of words he often 
sees in the perusal of American newspapers 
and novels which I gathered. 

New Yoik is the Empire State, and with 
the following comprises Yankee land, which 
word Yankee is most properly a corruption of 
Yengeese, the old Indian word for English ; 
so that, by parity of reasoning, John Bull is, 
after all, a Yankee. 



Massachusetts . . . The Bay State, Steady Habits. 
Rhode Island . . . Plantation State. 
Vermont Banner State, or Green Moun- 
tain Boys. 
New Hampshire . The Granite State. 
Connecticut .... Freestone State. 
Maine ....... Lumber State. 

These are the Yankees, par excellence ; and 
it is not polite or even civil for a traveller to 
consider or mention any of the other States 
as labouring under the idea that they ever 
could, by any possibility, be considered as 
Yankees ; for, in the South, the word Yankee 
is almost equivalent to a tin pedlar, a sharp, 
Sam Slick. 

Sennsylyania is 

The Keystone State. 

New Jersey . 

. The Jersey (pronounced Jar- 

say) Blues. 

Delaware . . . 

. Little Delaware. 

Maryland . . . 

. Monumental. 

Virginia .... 

. The OldPominion, and some- 

times the Cavaliers. 

North Carolina 

. E^ Van Windrle. 

South GaxoHiia 

. The Palmetto State. 

Geor^ .... 

. Pine State. 


. The Buckeyes. 

Kentucky . . 

. The Comcrackers. 

Alabama . . . 

. Alabama. 

Tennessee . . . 

. The Lion*8 Den. 


Miflflouri ... 

. The Pukes. 

Illinois .... 

. The Suckers. 

Indiana . . . 

. The Hoosiers. 

Michigan . . 

. The Wolverines. 

Arkansas . . 

. The Toothpickers. 

Louisiana . . 

. . The Creole State. 

Mississippi . 

. The Border Beagles 


I do not know what elegant names have 
been given to the Floridas, the Iowa, or any 
of the other territories, but no doubt they are 
equally significant. Texas, I suppose, will be 
called Annexation State. 

This information, although it appears fri- 
volous, is very useful, as without it much of 
the perpetual war of politics in the States 
cannot be understood. Yankee in Europe is 
a sort of byword, denoting repudiation and 
all sorts of chicanery ; but the Yankee States 
are more English, more intellectual, and more 
enterprising than all the rest put together; 
and Pennsylvania should be enrolled among 

In short, in the north-east you have the 
cool, calculating, confident, and persevering 
Yankee; in the south, the fiery, somewhat 


aristocratic, bold, and uncompromising Ame- 
rican, full of talent, but with his energies a 
little slackened by his proximity to the equa- 
tor and his habitual use of slave assistance. 

In the central States, all is progressive ; a 
more agricultural population of mixed races, 
as energetic as the Yankee, but not possess- 
ing his advantages of a seaboard. The Western 
States are the pioneers of civilization, and 
have a dauntless, less educated, and more 
turbulent character, approaching, as you draw 
towards the setting sun, very much to the half- 
horse, half-alligator, and paving the way for 
the arts and sciences of Europe with the rifle 
and the axe. 

It is these Western States and the vast 
labouring population of the seaboard, who 
have only their manual labour to maintain 
them, without property or without possessions 
of any kind, that control the legislature, their 
numerical strength beating and bearing down 
mind, matter, and wealth. 

Doubtless it is the bane of the republican 
institution, as now settled in North America, 


that every maiii woman, and child, in order 
to assert their equality, must meddle with 
matters far above the comprehension of a 
great majority; for, although the people of 
the United States can, as George the Third so 
piously wished for the people of England, 
read their bible, whenever they are inclined to 
do so, yet it is beyond po^ssibility, as human 
nature is constituted, that all can be endowed 
with the same, or any thing like the same, 
faculties. Too much learning makes .them 
mad ; and hence the constant danger of dis- 
ruption, from opposing interest39 which the 
masses — ^for the word mob is not applicable 
here — must always enforce. The north and 
the south, the east and the west, are as dissi- 
milar in habits, in thought, in action, and in 
interests, as Young Russia is from Old Eng- 
land, or as republican France was from the 
monarchy of Louis the Great. 

Hence is it that a Canadian, residing, as it 
were, on the Neutral Ground, can so much 
better appreciate the tone of feeling in Ame- 
rica, as the United States' people love to call 

M 5 


their country, than an Englishman, Scotch- 
man, or Irishman can ; for here are yisible 
the very springs that regulate the machinery, 
which are covered and hidden by the vast 
space of the Atlantic. You can form no idea 
of the American character by the merchants, 
travelling gentry, or diplomatists, who visit 
London and the seaports. You must have 
lengthened and daily opportunities of ob- 
serving the people of a new country, where a 
new principle is working, before you can ven- 
ture safely to pronounce an attempt even at 

Monsieur Tocqueville, who is always lauded 
to the skies for bis philosophic and truly ex- 
traordinary view of American policy and in- 
stitutions, has perhaps been as impartial as 
most republican writers since the days of tl\j3 
enthusiast Volney, on the merits or demerits 
of the monarchical and democratic systems ; 
yet his opinions are to be listened to very 
cautiously, for the leaven was well mixed in 
his own cake before it was matured for con- 
sumption by tbe public. 


Weak and prejudiced minds receive the 
doctrines of a philosopher like Tocqaeville as 
dictations: he pronounced ei^ cathedra his 
doctrines^ and it is heresy to gainsay them. 
Yet, as an able writer in that universal book, 
" The Times," says, reason and history read 
a different sermon. 

That democracy is an essential principle, 
and must sooner or later prevail amongst all 
people, is very analogous to the prophecy of 
Miller, that the material v^orld is to be rolled 
up as a garment, and shrivelled in the fire on 
the thirteenth day of some month next year, 
or the year after. 

These fulminations are very semblable to 
those of the popes — ^harmless corruscations — 
a sort of aurora borealis, erratic and splendid, 
|)ut very unreal and very unsearchable as to 
cause and effect. 

There can be, however, very little doubt in 
the mind of a person whose intellects have 
been carefully developed, and who has used 
them quietly to reason on apparent conclu- 
sions, that the form of government in the 


United States has answered a purpose hitherto, 
and that a wise oue ; for the impatience of 
control which every new-comer from the Old 
World naturally feels, when he discovers that 
he has only escaped the dominion of long- 
established custom to fall under the more 
despotic dominion of new opinions, prompts 
him, if he differs, and he always naturally 
does, where so many opinions are suddenly 
brought to light and forced on his acqui- 
escence, to move out of their sphere. Hence 
emigration westward is the result ; and hence, 
for the same reasons, the old seaboard States, 
where the force of the laws operates more 
strongly than in the central regions, annually 
pour out to the western forests their masses 
of discontented citizens. 

The feeling of old Daniel Boone and of 
Leather Stockings is a very natural one to a 
half-educated or a wholly uneducated man, and 
no doubt also many quiet and respectable 
people get harassed and tired of the caucusing 
and canvassing for political power, which is 
incessantly going on under the modem system 


of things in America, and take up their house- 
hold gods to seek out the land flowing with 
milk and honey beyond the wilderness. 

No person can imagine the constant turmoil 
of politics in the Northern States. The writer 
already quoted says, that there is '* one sin- 
gular proof of the general energy and capacity 
for business, which early habits of self-depen*^ 
dence have produced ; — almost every Ame- 
rican understands politics, takes a lively 
interest in them (though many abstain Under 
discouragement or disgust from taking a prac*- 
tical part), and is familiar, not only with the 
affairs of his own township or county, but 
with those of the State or of the Union ; 
almost every man reads about a dozen news- 
papers every day, and will talk to you for 
hours, (tant bien que mal) if you will listen 
to him, about the tariff and the Ashburton 

And he continues by stating that this by 
no means interferes with his private affairs ; 
on the contrary, he appears to have time for 
both, and can reconcile ''the pursuits of a 


bustling politician and a steady man of busi-» 
ness. Such a union is rarely found in Eng- 
land, and never on the Continent." 

But what is the result of such a union of 
versatile talent ? Politics and dollars absorb 
all the time which might be used to advantage 
for the mental aggrandizement of the nation ; 
and every petty pelting quidnunc considers 
himself as able as the President and all his 
cabinet, and not only plainly tells them so 
every hour, but forces them to act as he wills, 
not as wisdom wills. There is a Senate, it is 
true, where some of this popular fervour gets 
a little cooling occasionally: but, although 
there are doubtless many .acute minds in 
power, and many great men in public situa- 
tions, yet the majority of the people of intel- 
lect and of wealth in the United States keep 
aloof whilst this order of things remains : for, 
from the penny-postman and the city sca- 
venger to the very President himself, the 
qualification for office is popular subservi- 

Thus, when Mr. Polk thunders from the 


Capitol, it is most likely not Mr. Polk's heart 
that utters such warlike notes of preparation, 
but Mr. Polk would never be re-elected, if he 
did not do as his rulers bid him do. 

It may seem absurd enough, it is never- 
theless true, that this political furor is carried 
into the most obscure walks of life, and the 
Americans themselves tell some good stories 
about it ; while, at the same time, they con- 
stantly din your ears with " the destinies of 
the Great Republic," the absolute certainty 
of universal American dominion over the New 
World, and the rapid decay and downfall of 
the Old, which does not appear fitted to 
receive pure Democracy.^ 

They tell a good story of a political court- 
ship in the "New York Mercury," as decidedly 
one of the best things introduced in a late 
political campaign : — 

^ One of the spoKkers against time, in a late debate on the 
Oregon question, quoted those fine lines about *' The flag 
that braved a thousand years the battle and the breeze,** 
and said its glory was departing before the Stars and Stripes, 
which were to occupy its place in the event of war, from this 
time forth and for ever. 


" Inasmuch/' says the editor, ^^ as all the 
States hereabouts have concluded their la- 
bours in the presidential contest, we think 
we run no risk of upsetting the constitution, 
or treading upon the most fastidious toe in 
the universe, by affording our readers the 
same hearty laugh into which we were be- 

'^ Jonathan walks in, takes a seat and looks 
at Sukey ; Sukey rakes up the fire, blows out 
the candle, and don't look at Jonathan. Jo- 
nathan hitches and wriggles about in his 
chair, and Sukey sits perfectly still. At length 
he musters courage and speaks — 

" * Sewkey V 

'' ' Wall, Jon-nathan ?' "^ 

<< ^ I love you like pizan and sweetmeats V 

" • Dew tell.' 

** * It's a fact and no mistake — wi — will- 
no w — will you have me — Sew — ky V 

" * Jon — nathan Hig — gins, what am your 
politics ?' 

" * I'm for Polk, straight, ' 

" Wall, sir, yew can walk straight to 


hum, COS I won't have nobody that ain't for 
Clay ! that's a fact.' 

" * Three cheers for the Mill Boy of the 
Slashes !' song out Jonathan. 

" ^ That's your sort/ says Sukey. * When 
shall we be married, Jon — nathan V 

" ' Soon's Clay's e— lect— ed.' 

" * Ahem, ahem !' 

" * What's the matter, Sukey ?' 

" * Sposing he ain't e — ^lect— ed ?' 

" We came away." 

Verily, Monsieur De Tocqueville, you are in 
the right — democracy is an inherent principle. 

But the train is progressing, and we are 
passing Lundy's Lane, or^ as the Americans 
call it, " The Battle Ground," where a bloody 
fight between Democracy and Monarchy took 

place some thirty years ago, and where 


^ The bones, unburied on the naked plain," 

Still are picked up by the grubbers after 
curiosities, and the very trees have the balls 
still sticking in them. 

Here woman, that ministering angel in the 


hour of woe, performed a part in the drama 
which is worth relating, as the source from 
which I had the history is from the person 
who owed so much to her, and whose gallantry 
was so conspicuous. 

Colonel Fitzgibbon, then in the 49th regi- 
ment, haying inadvertently got into a position 
where his sword, peeping from under his great 
coat, immediately pointed him out as a British 
officer, was seized by two American soldiers, 
who had been drinking in the village public- 
house, and would either have been made pri- 
soner or killed had not Mrs. Defield come to 
his rescue. 

Mr. Fitzgibbon was a tall, powerful, mus- 
cular person, and his captors were a rifleman 
and an infantry soldier, each armed with the 
rifle and musket peculiar to their service. 
By a sudden effort, he seized the rifle of one 
and the musket of the other, and turned their 
muzzles from him ; and so firm was his grasp, 
that, although unable to wrest the weapon 
from either of them, they could not change 
the position » 


The rifleman, retaining his hold of his rifle 
with one hand, drew Mr. Fitzgibbon's sword 
with the other, and attempted to stab him in 
the side. Whilst watching his uplifted arm, 
with the intent, if possible, of receiving the 
thrust in his own arm, Mr. Fitzgibbon per- » 
ceived the two hands of a woman suddenly 
clasp the rifleman's wrist, and carry it behind 
his back, when she and her sister wrenched 
the sword from him, and ran and hid it in 
the cellar. 

Mrs. Defield was the wife of the keeper of 
the tavern where this officer happened to have 
arrived; an old man, named Johnson, then 
came forward, and with his assistance Mr. 
Fitzgibbon took the two soldiers prisoners, 
and carried them to the nearest guard, al- 
though at that moment an American detach- 
ment of 150 men was within a hundred yards 
of the place, hidden however from view by a 
few young pine-trees. 

I am sure it will please the British reader 
to learn that the government granted 400 
acres of the best land in the Talbot settle* 


ment to Edward Defield, for his wife's and 
sister-in-law's heroic conduct. 

Yet, such is the influence of example upon 
unreflecting minds dwelling on the frontiers 
of Upper Canada, that although in most in- 
stances the settlers are in possession of farms 
originally free gifts from the Crown, yet 
many of their sons were in arms against that 
Crown in 1837. Among these misguided 
youths was a son of Defield's, who surren- 
dered, with the brigands commanded by Von 
Schultz, in the windmill, near Prescott, in 
the winter of 1838. He had crossed over 
from Ogdensburgh, and was condemned to a 
traitor's death. 

From Colonel Fitzgibbon's statement to 
the executive, this lad, in consideration of his 
mother's heroism, was pardoned. Mrs. De- 
field is still living. 

The three honses en licorne trot us on, and 
we pass Lundy's Lane, Bloody Bun, a little 
streamlet, whose waters were once dyed with 
gore, and so back to Niagara, where I shall 
take the liberty of saying a few words con? 
cerning the Welland Canal. 


The Welland Canal, the most important in 
a commercial point of view of any on the 
American continent — until that of Tchuantes- 
segue, in Mexico, which I was once, in 1 825, 
deputed to survey and cut, is formed, or that 
other projected through San Juan de Nica- 
ragua — was originally a mere job, or, as it 
was called, a job at both ends and a failure 
in the middle, until it passed into the hands 
of the local government. If there has been 
any job since, it has not been made public, 
and it is now a most efficient and well con- 
ducted work, through which a very great 
portion of the western trade finds its way, in 
despite of that magnificent vision of De Witt 
Clinton's, the Erie Canal ; and when the 
Welland is navigable for the schooners and 
steamers of the great lakes, it will absorb the 
transit trade, as its mouth in Lake Erie is 
free from ice several weeks sooner than the 
harbour of Buffalo. 

The old miserable wooden locks and barge- 
way have been converted into splendid stone 
walls and a ship navigation ; and, to give some 


idea of the rising importance of the Welland 
Canal, I shall briefly state that the tolls in 1 832 
amounted to ^2,432, in 1841 had risen to 
^20,210, and in 1843 to £25,573 3^. lOK : 
and when the works are fairly finished, which 
they nearly are, this will be trebled in the 
first year; for it has been carefully calcu- 
lated that the gross amount which would 
have passed of tonnage of large sailing craft 
only on the lakes, in 1844, was 26,400 tons, 
out of which only 7,000 had before been able 
to use the locks. 

All the sailing vessels now, with the excep- 
tion of three or four, can pass freely ; and 
three large steam propellers were built in 
1844, whose aggregate tonnage amounted to 
1,900 tons; they have commenced their regular 
trips as freight-vessels, for which they were 
constructed, and have been followed by the 
almost incredible use of Ericson's propeller. 

To show the British reader the importance 
of this work, connecting, as it does, with the 
St. Lawrence and Rideau Canals, the Atlantic 
Ocean, and Lakes Superior and Michigan, I 



shall, although contrary to a determination 
made to give nothing in this work but the re- 
sults of personal inspection or observation, use 
the scissors and paste for once, and thus place 
under view a table of all the articles which are 
carried through this main artery of Canada, by 
which both import and export trade may be 
viewed as in a mirror, and this too before the 
canal is fairly finished. 






. 1844. 

Beef and pork 



Flour . . . . 



Ashes . . . . 



Beer and cider 



Salt . . . . 









Fruit and nuts 



Butter and lard 



Seeds . . . . 






Water-lime . 



Fitch and tar 



Fish . 














Oil ... . 



Soap .... 









Caledonia water 



Saw logs 






Square timber 

cubic feet, 490,525 

Ualf flatted do. 



Round do. . . 



Staves, pipe . 



Do. W. I. 



Do. flour barrel 






Rails .... 



Racked hoops 




bushels, 2,122,592 

Com .... 



Barley .... 






Oats . . 









Butter and lard 



Merchandize . •• 


11,318 16 

Coal .... 


1,689 7 



211 6 



1,748 10 



140 7 

Grindstones . 


151 14 



1,491 10 

Hides . 


101 15 

Bacon and Hams 






Bran and shorts 


231 11 

Waters lime . • , 


441 7 

Rags • . • . 



Uemp • . . • 


500 11 

Wool . . . . 


15 9 



9 17 

Cheese . . . . 


1 2 



1 10 

Stone . . • . 






Tan bark 



Cedar posts 



Hoop timber . 



Knees . . . . 



Small packages 








3,26 1^ 







PaQs ^ . 



Horses . 









Cotton . 




. bimdles, 


Sand . . . . 

. cubic yards, 10,778 








Scows . 






Rafts . 




• f 


Amount collected . 

. ^2^,573 Ss. lO^d. 

VOL. j:. 




The Great Fresh-water Seas of Canada. 

A sentimental journey in Canada is not 
like Sterne's, all about corking-pins and r^- 
miseSy monks and Marias, nor is it likely, in 
this utilitarian age, even if Sterne could be 
revived to write it, to be as immortal ; never- 
theless, let us ramble. 

The Welland Canal naturally leads one to 
reflect on the great sources of pOwer spread 
before the Canadian nation ; for, although it 
will never, never be la nation Canadiennej 
yet it will inevitably some day or other be 
the Canadian nation, and its limits the At- 
lantic and the Pacific Oceans. 

President Polk — ^they say his name is an 
abbreviation of PoUok— can no . more dive 
into " the course of time" than that poet 


could do, and it is about as vain for him to 
predict that the American bald eagle shall 
claw all the fish on the continent of the New 
World, QB it is to fancy that the time is never 
to come when the Canadian races, Norman- 
Saxon as they are, shall not assert some 
claim to the spoils. 

Canada is now happier under the dominion 
of Victoria than she could possibly be under 
that of the people of the States, and she 
knows and feels it. The natural resources of 
Canada are enormous, and developing them- 
selves every day ; and it needs neither Lyell, 
nor the yet unheard-of geologists of Canada 
to predict that the day is not far distant 
when her iron mines, her lead ores, her cop- 
per, and perhaps her silver, will come into 
the market.^ 

I see, in a paper lying before me, that Co- 
lonel Prince, a person who has already flou- 
rished before the public as an enterprising 

^ Since I penned this, a company is forming to work 
valuable argentiferous copper-mines lately discovered on 
Lake Superior. The Americans are actuaUy working rich 
mines of silver, copper, &c. 

N 2 


English farming gentleman^ who combines 
the long robe with the red coat, has, with a 
worthy patriotism, obtained a very large 
grant of lands from the government to ex- 
plore the shore of Lake Superior, in order to 
find whether the Yankees are to have all the 
copper to themselves ; and that, in searching 
a little to the eastward of St. Mary*s Rapids, 
a very valuable deposit has been discovered, 
which has stimulated other adventurers, who 
have found another mine nearer the outlet of 
the lake and still more valuable, the copper 
of which, lying near the surface, yields some- 
where about seventy-five per cent.^ 

* A recent number of ♦* The Scientific American," pub- 
lished in New York, contains the following: — Some 
of the British officers in Canada have lately made an 
important discovery of some of the richest copper-mines 
in the world. This discovery has created great excitement. 
Some of the ofiScers, m route to {England, are now in the 
city, and will carry with them some specimens of the ore, 
and' among them one piece weighing 2,200 lbs. The ore 
is very rich, yielding, as we learn, seventy -two per cent, of 
pure copper. Some of the copper was taken from the bed 
of a river, and some broken off from a cliff on the banks. 
The latter is six feet long, four broad, and six inches thick. 


We know that rich iron .mines exist, and 
are steadily worked in Lower Canada; we 
know that a vast deposit of iron, one of the 
finest in the world, has lately been discovered 
on the Ottawa, a river in the township of 
M^Nab ; and we know that nothing prevents 
the Marmora and Madoc iron from being 
used but the finishing of the Trent naviga- 
tion« Lead abounds on the Sananoqui river, 
and at Clinton, in the Niagara district ; 
whilst plumbago, now so useful, is abundant 
throughout the line, where the primary and 
secondary rocks intersect each other* Mn 
Logan, employed by the government, ew ca^ 
ihedray says there is no coal in Canada ; but 
still it appears that in the Ottawa country it 
is very possible it may be found, and that, if 
it is not, Cape Breton and the Gaspe lands 
will furnish it in abundance ; and, as Canada 
may now fairly be said to be all the North 
American territory, embraced between the 
Pacific somewhere about the Golimibia river. 
Nova Scotia and New Brunswick,for a politi- 
cal union exists between all these provinces. 


if an acknowledged one does not, coal wiU 
yet be plentiful in Canada* 

Canada, thus limited, is now, de facto ^ ay, 
and de jure^ British North America ; and a 
fair field and a fertile one it is, peopled by a 
race neither to be frightened nor coaxed ont 
of its birthright. 

The advantages of Canada are enormous, 
much greater, in fact, than they are usually 
thought to be at home. 

The ports of St. John's and of Halifax, 
without mentioning fifty others, are open all 
the year round to steamers and sea-going 
vessels ; and when railroads can at all seasons 
bring their cargoes into Canada proper, then 
shall we live six months more than during 
the present torpidity of our long winters. 
John Bull, transported to interior Canada, is 
very like a Canadian black bear : he sleeps 
six months, and growls during the remaining 
six for his food. 

Then, in summer, there is the St. Lawrence 
covered with ships of all nations, the canals 
carrying their burthens to the far West and 


the great mediterraneans of fresh water, 
opening a coantry of unknown resources and 

These great seas of Cicada haye often 
engaged my thoughts. Tideless, they flow 
ever onward, to keep up the level of the 
vast Atlantic, and in themselves are oceans. 
How is it that the moon, that enormous 
blister-plaster, does not raise them? Simply 
because there is some little error in the very 
accurate computations which give all the 
regulations of tidal waters to lunar in- 

Barlow, one of the mathematical master* 
spirits of the age, was bold enough once to 
doubt this vast power of suction on the part 
of the ruler of the night; and there were 
certain wiseacres who, as in the case of 6a«- 
lileo, thought it very religiously dangerous 
indeed, to attempt to interfere with her 

But, in fact, the phenomenon of the tides 
is just as easy of explanation by the motion 
of the earth as it is by the moon's presumed 


drinking propensities, and, as she is a ladjr; 
let us hope she has been belied* The motion 
of the earth would not affect such narrow 
bodies of water as the Canadian lakes, but 
the moon's power of attraction would, if it 
existed to the extent supposed, be under 
the necessity of doing it, unless she prefers 
salt to fresh liquors. 

• One may venture, now-a-days, to express 
such a doubt, particularly as Madam Moon is 
a Pagan deity. 

The great lakes are, however, very extra-* 
ordinary in their way. Let us recollect what 
I have seen and thought of them. 

We will commence with Lake Superior^ 
which is 400 miles in length, 100 miles 
wide, and ,900 feet deep, where it has beei> 
sounded. It contains 3S,000 square miles of 
water, and it is 628 feet above uie level of 
the sea. 

Lake Michigan is S20 miles long, 60 mile^ 
wide, and 1,000 deep, as far as it has been 
sounded ; contains SS,400 square miles, and 
is 584 feet above tide-water; but it is, in 


fact, only a large bay of Lake Huron, the 
grand lake, which is 240 miles long, without 
it averaging 86 miles in width, also averaging 
1,000 feet deep, as far as soundings have 
been tried, contains 20,400 square miles, and 
is also about 584 feet above the tidal 

Off Saginaw Bay, in this lake, leads have 
been sunk 1,800 feet, or 1,200 feet below 
the level of the Atlantic, without finding 

Green Bay, an arm of Michigan, is in itself 
106 miles long, 20 miles wide, and contains 
2,000 square miles. 

Lake St. Clair, 6 feet above Lake Erie, 
follows Lake Huron; but it is a mere en* 
largement of the St. Lawrence, of immense 
size, however, and shallow: it is 20 miles 
long, 14 wide, 20 feet deep, and contains 
S60 square miles. 

Then comes Lake Erie, the Stormy Lake, 
which is 240 miles long, 40 miles wide, 408 
feet in its deepest part, and contains 9,600 
square miles. Lake Erie is 565 feet above 



tide-water. Its average depth is 85 feet 


Lake Ontario, the Beautiful Lake, is 180 
miles long, 45 miles wide, 500 feet average 
depth, where sounded successfully, but said 
to be fathomless in some places, and contains 
6,300 square miles. It is S32 feet above the 
tide of the St. Lawrence. 

The Canadian lakes have been computed 
to contain 1,700 cubic miles of water, or 
more than half the fresh water on the globe, 
covering a space of about 93,000 square 
miles. They extend from west to east over 
nearly 15 degrees and a half of longitude, 
with a difference of latitude of about eight 
and a half degrees, draining a country of 
not less surface than 400,000 square miles. 

The greatest difference is observable be- 
tween the waters of all these lakes, arising 
from soil, depth, and shores. Ontario is pure 
and blue, Erie pure and green, the southern 
part of Michigan nothing particular. The 
northern part of Michigan and all Huron 
are clear, transparent, and full of carbonio 


gas, so that its water sparkles. Bat the ex- 
traordinary transparency of the waters of all 
these lakes is very surprising. Those of 
Hnrou transmit the rays of light to a great 
depth, and consequently, having no prepon- 
derating solid matters in suspension, an equa- 
lization of heat occurs. Dr. Drake ascer- 
tained that, at the surface in summer, and at 
two hundred feet below it, the temperature of 
the water was 56^. 

One of the*most curious things on the shal- 
low parts of Huron is to sail or row over the 
submarine or sublacune mountains, and to 
feel giddy from fancy, for it is like being in 
a balloon, so pure and tintless is the water. 
It is, like Dolland*s best telescopes, achro- 

' The lakes are subject in the latter portion 
of summer to a phenomenon, which long 
puzzled the settlers; their surface near the 
shores of bays and inlets are covered by a 
bright yellow dust, which passed until lately 
for sulphur, but is now known to be the farina 
of the pine forests. The atmosphere is «o 


impregnated with it at these seasofns, that 
water-barrels, and vessels holding water in the 
open air, are covered with a thick scum of 
bright yellow powder. 

A curious oily substance also pervades the 
waters in autumn, which agglutinates the 
sand blown over it by the winds, and floats 
it about in patches. I have never been able 
to discover the cause of this; perhaps, it ia 
petroleum, or the sand is magnetic iiHMi. ' Sin* 
gular currents and differently coloured 
streams also appear, as on the ocean ; but, asi 
all the lakes have a fall, no weed gathers^ 
except in the stagnant bays. 

The bottom of Ontario is unquestionably 
salt, and no wonder that it should be so, for 
all the Canadian lakes were once a sea, and 
the geological fomiation of the bed of On- 
tario is the saliferous rock. 

I have often enjoyed on Ontario's shores, 
where I have usually resided, the grand spec* 
tacle which takes place after intense frost« 
The early morning then exhibits columns of 
white vapour, like millions of Geysers spout- 


ing up to the sky, curling, twisting, shooting 
upwards, gracefully forming spirals and 
pyramids, amid the dark ground of the som- 
hre heavens, and occasionally giving a peep 
of little lanes of the dark waters, all else 
being shrouded in dense mist. 

People at home are very apt to despise 
lakes, perhaps from the usual insipidity of 
lake poetry, and to imagine that they can ex-« 
hibit nothing but very placid and tranquil 
scenery. Lake Erie, the shallowest of the 
great Canadian freshwater seas, very soon 
^ convinces a traveller to the contrary ; for it 

is the most turbulent and the most trouble- 
some sea I ever embarked upon — a region of 
vexed waters, to which the Bermoothes of 
Shakespeare is a trifle ; for that is bad enough^ 
but not half so treacherous and so thunder^ 
gtormy as Erie, 

. Huron is an ocean, when in its might ; its 
waves and swells rival those of the Atlantic ; 
and the beautiful Ontario, like many a lovely 
dame, is not always in a good temper. I 
once crossed this lake from Niagara to To* 


ronto late in November, in the Great Britain^ 
a steamer capable of holding a thousand men 
with ease, and daring this voyage of thirty* 
six miles we often wished ourselves anywhere 
else : the engine, at least one of them, got 
deranged ; the sea was running mountains 
high ; the cargo on deck was washed over* 
board ; gingerbread-work, as the sailors call 
the ornamental parts of a vessel, went to 
smash ; and, if the remaining engine had failed 
in getting us under the shelter of the wind- 
ward shore, it would have been pretty much 
with us as it was with the poor fellow who 
went down into one of the deepest shafts of a 
Swedish mine. 

A curious traveller, one of ** the inquisitive 
class," must needs see how the miners de* 
scended into these awful depths. He was put 
into a large bucket, attached to the huge Tope» 
with a guide, and gradually lowered down. 
When he had got some hundred fathoms or so, 
he began to feel queer, and look down, down, 
down. Nothing could he see but darkness 
viable. He questioned his guide as to how 


fer they were from the bottom, cautiously and 
nervously. " Ob," said the Swede, " about 
a mile." " A mile !" replied the Cockney : 
" shall we ever get there ?" — " I don't know," 
said the guide. "Why, does any accident 
ever happen ?"—" Yes, often." — ^** How long 
ago was the last accident, and what was it ?" 
— " Last week, one of our women went down, 
and when she had got just where we are now, 
the rope broke." — " Oh, Heaven !" ejaculated 
the inquisitive traveller, " what happened to 
her?" The Swede, who did not speak very 
good English, put the palm of his right hand 
over that of his left, lifted the upper hand, 
slapped them together with a clap, and said, 
most phlegmatically — " Flat as a pankakkaJ" 
I once crossed Ontario, in the same direc- 
tion as that just mentioned, in another steamer, 
when the beautiful Ontario was in a towering 
passion. We had a poor fellow in the cabin, 
who had been a Roman Catholic priest, but 
who had changed his form of faith. The 
whole vessel was in commotion ; it was im- 
possible for the best sea-legs to hold on ; so 


two or tkree who were not subject to sea- 
sickness got into the cabin, or saloon, as it iB 
called, and grasped any thing in the way. 
The long dinner-table, at which fifty people 
could sit down, gave a lee-lurch, and jammed 
our poor religioner, as Southey so afiectedly 
calls ministers of the word, into a comer, 
where chairs innumerable were soon piled over 
him. He abandoned himself to despair ; and 
long and loud were his confessions. On the 
first lull, we extricated him, and put him into 
a birth. Every now and then, he would call 
for the steward, the mate, the captain, the 
waiters, all in vain, all were busy. At last 
his cries brought down the good-natured cap- 
tain. He asked if we were in danger. " Not 
entirely," was the reply. " What is it does it, 
captain ? " — " Oh, said the skipper, gruffly 
enough, " we are in the trough of the sea, 
and something has happened to the engine." 
" The trough of the sat/ V — ^my friend was an 
Irishman — " the trough of the say ? is it that 
does it, captain V* But the captain was gone. 
During the whole storm and the remaindec 


of the voyage, the poor ex-priest asked every 
hodythat passed his refuge if we were out of 
the trough of the say. " I know,** said he, 
" it is the trough of the say does it." No 
cooking could be performed, and we should 
have gone dinnerless and supperless to bed, if 
we had not, by force of steam, got into the 
tnouth of the Niagara river. AH became 
then comparatively tranquil ; she moored, 
and the old Niagara, for that was her name, 
became steady and at rest. Soon the cooks, 
stewards, and waiters, were at work, and din- 
ner, tea, and supper, in one meal, gladdened 
our hearts. The greatest eater, the greatest 
drinker, and the most confident of us all, was 
our old friend and companion of the voyage, 
** the Trough of the Say," as he was ever after 

Such is tranquil Ontario. I remember a 
man-of-war, called the Bullfrog, being once 
very nearly lost in the voyage I have been, 
describing; and never a November passes 
without several schooners being lost or 
wrecked upon Lakes Huron, Erie, and On- 


tario ; whilst the largest American steamers on 
Erie sometimes suffer the same fate. When- 
ever Superior is much navigated, it will be 
worse, as the seasons are shorter and more 
severe there, and the shores iron-bound and 

Through the Wellanii Canal there is now a 
continuous navigation of those lakes for 844 
miles ; and the St. Lawrence Canal being com- 
pleted, and the La Chine Locks enlarged at 
Montreal, there will be a continuous line of 
shipping from London to the extremity of 
Lake Superior, embracing an inland voyage 
on fresh water of upwards of two thousand 
miles. Very little is required to accomplish 
an end so desirable. 

It has been estimated by the Topographical 
Board of Washington, that during 1843 the 
value of the capital of the United States afloat 
on the four lakes was sixty-five millions of 
dollars, or about sixteen millions, two hun- 
dred thousand pounds sterling ; and this did 
not of course include the British Canadian 
capital, an idea of which may be formed from 


the confident assertion that the Lakes have a 
greater tonnage entering the Canadian ports 
than that of the whole commerce of Britain 
with her North American colonies. This is, 
however, un pen fort. It is now not at all 
nncommon to see three-masted vessels on Lake 
Ontario; and one alone, in November last, 
brought to Kingston a freight of flour which 
before would have required three of the ordi- 
nary schooners to carry, namely, 1500 barrels. 

A vessel is also now at Toronto, which is 
going to try the experiment of sailing from 
that port to the West Indies and back again ; 
and, as she has been properly constructed to 
pass the canals, there is no doubt of her 

Some idea of the immense exertions made 
by the government to render the Welland 
Canal available may be formed by the size of 
the locks at Port Dalhousie, which is the en- 
trance on Lake Ontario. Two of the largest 
class, in masonry, and of the best quality, 
have been constructed: they are 200 feet 
long by 45 wide ; the lift of the upper lock 


is 1 1, and of the lower, 12, which varies with 
the level of Lake Ontario, the mitre sill being 
12 feet below its ordinary surface. Steamers 
of the largest class can therefore go to the 
thriving village of St. Catherine's, in the 
midst of the granary of Canada* 

The La Chine Canal must be enlarged for 
ship navigation more effectually than it has 
been. I subjoin a list of colonial shipping for 
1844 from Simmonds' "Colonial Magazine.'* 

YEAR 1844: 





Europe — 











Sierra Leone, 




Cape of Grood Hope, 

Cape Town, 




Fort Elizabeth, 








Asia — 


















Countries. Vessels. Tons. Crews. 
Malacca, 2 288 13 
Coringa, 17 3,384 126 
Singapore, 13 1,543 289 
Calcutta, 186 5,1779 2,004 
Ceylon, 674 30,076 2,696 
Prince of Wales Is- 
land, 7 996 51 
New Holland — 

Sydney, 293 28,051 2,128 

Melbourne, 29 1,240 147 

Adelaide, 17 864 60 

HobartTown, 103 7,153 724 

Launceston, 42 3,150 257 
New Zealand—-* 

Auckland, 13 305 42 

Wellington, 12 262 32 
America — 

Canada, Quebec, 509 45,361 2,590 

" Montreal, 60 10,097 556 

Cape Breton, Sydney, 369 15,048 1,296 

'' Arichat, 96 4,614 335 

New Brunswick, Mi- 

ramichi, 81 10,143 509 

St. Andrews, 193 18,391 . 918 

• St. John, 398 63,676 .2,480 
Newfoundland, St. 

John, 847 53,944 4,567 

Nova Scotia, Halifax, 1,657 82,890 5,292 

Liverpool, 31 2,641 163 

Fictou, 60 6,929 354 

Yarmouth, 146 11,724 637 



Prince £dward*8 Is- 
West Indies, Antigua, 







Jamaica, Fort Anto- 

Antonio Bay, 



Montego Bay, 

Morant Bay, 

Fort Maria, 

St. Ann*8, 

Savannah la Mar, 

St. Lucca, 
St. Kitts, 
S. Lucia, 
St Vincent, 


Vessels. Tons. Crews. 



















































7,304 592,839 40,659 


It will be seen, from the foregoing fltatement, that the 
tonnage of the vessels belonging to oar colonies is about 
equal to that of the whole of the French mercantile marine, 
which m 1841 consisted of 592,266 tons — 1842, 589,517 — 
1843, 599,707. 

The tonnage of the three principal ports of Great Britain 
in 1844 was: — 

London . . . 598,552 

Liyerpooi . . • 307,852 
Newcastle . . . 259,571 

Total 1,165,975 

On Lake Erie, the Canadians have a splen- 
did steamer, the London, Captain Van Allen, 
and another still larger is building at Qiip- 
pewa, which is partly owned by government, 
and so constructed as to carry the mail and 
to become fitted speedily for warlike pur- 

Lake Ontario swarms with splendid British 
steam-vessels ; but on Lake Huron there is 
only at present one, called the Waterloo, in 
the employment of the Canada Company, 
which runs from Goderich to the new settle- 
ments of Owen's Sound. 

Propellers now go all the way to St. Jo- 


Beph's, at the western extremity of Lake 
Huron; and the trade on this lake and on 
Michigan is becoming absolutely astonishing. 
Last year, a return of American and foreign 
vessels at Chicago, from the commencement 
of navigation on the 1st of April to the 1st 
of November only, shows that there arrived 
151 steamers, 8.0 propellers, 10 brigs, and 142 
schooners, making a total of 1 ,078 lake-going 
vessels, and a like number of departures, not 
including numerous small craft, engaged in the 
carrying of wood, staves, ashes, &c., and yet, 
such was the glut of wheat, that at the latter 
date 300,000 bushels remained unshipped. 

Upwards of a million of money will be ex- 
pended by the Canadian Government in pro- 
tecting and securing the transit trade of the 
lakes ; and the Canadians have literally gone 
ahead of Brother Jonathan, for they have 
made a ship-canal round the Falls of Niagara, 
whilst " the most enterprising people on the 
face of the earth," who are so much in advance 
of us according to the ideas of some writers, 
have been dreaming about it. — So much for 


the welfare of the earth being co-equal with 
democratic institntions, a la mode Fran^ 
false ! 

The American government up to 1 844 had 
spent only 2,100,000 dollars on the same ob- 
jects, or about half a million sterling, accord- 
ing to the statement of Mr. Whittlesey of 
Ohio. But that government is actually 
stirring in another matter, which is of im- 
mense future importance, although it appears 
trivial at this moment, and that is the opening 
up of Lake Superior, where a new world offers 

They have projected a ship-canal round, or 
rathlBr by the side of the rapids of St. Marie. 
The length of this canal is said to be only, in 
actual cutting, three-quarters of a mile, and 
the whole expense necessary not more than 
230,000 dollars, or about ^655,000 sterling. 

The British government should look in time 
to this ; it owns the other side of the Sault 
St. Marie, and the Superior country is so rich 
in timber and minerals that it is called the 
Denmark of America, whilst a direct access 

VOL. I. o 


hereafter to the Oregon territory and the Pa- 
cific must be opened through the vast chain 
of lakes towards the Rocky Mountains by way 
of Selkirk Colony, on the Red River. 

The lakes of Canada have not engaged that 
attention at home which they ought to have 
had ; and there is much interesting informa- 
tion about them which is a dead letter in 

Their rise and fall is a subject of great in- 
terest. The great sinking of the levels of late 
years, which has become so visible and so in- 
jurious to commerce, deserves the most atten- 
tive investigation. The American writers 
attribute it to various causes, and there are 
as many theories about it as there are upon 
all hidden mysteries. Evaporation and con- 
densation, woods and glaciers, have all been 
brought into play. 

If the lakes are supplied by their own 
rivers, and by the drainage streams of the 
surrounding forests, and all this is again and 
again returned into them from the clouds^ 
whence arises the sudden elevation or the 


sudden depression of such enonnous bodies of 
water, which have no tides ? 

The Pacific and the Atlantic cannot be the 
cause ; we must seek it elsewhere. To the 
westward of Huron, on the borders of Supe- 
rior, the land is rocky and eleyated ; but it 
attains only enormous altitudes at such a dis- 
tance on the rocky Andean chain as to 
render it improbable that those mountains 
exert immediate influences on the lakes. The 
Atlantic also is tob far distant, and very 
elevated land intervenes to intercept the 
rising vapours. On the north, high lands also 
exist ; and the snows scarcely account for it, 
as the whole of North America near these 
inland seas is alike covered every year in 

The north-east and the south-west winds are 
the prevalent ones, and a slight inspection of 
the maps will suffice to show that those com- 
pass bearings are the lines which the lakes 
and valleys of Northern America assume. 

In 1845, the lakes began suddenly to di- 
minish, and to such a degree was this con- 

o 2 


tinned from June to December, when the hard 
frosts begin, that, at the commencement of 
the latter month, Lake Ontario, at Kingston, 
was three feet below its customary level, and 
consequently, in the country places, many 
wells and streams dried up, and there was 
during the autumn distress for water both for 
cattle and man, although the rains were fre- 
quent and very heavy. 

Whence, then, do the lakes receive that 
enormous supply which will restore them to 
their usual flow? — or are they permanently 
diminishing ? I am inclined to believe that 
the latter is the case, as cultivation and the 
clearing of the forest proceed ; for I have 
observed within fifteen years the total drying 
up of streamlets by the removal of the forest, 
and these streamlets had evidently once been 
rivulets and even rivers of some size, as their 
banks, cut through alluvial soils, plainly indi- 

The lakes also exhibit on their borders, 
particularly Ontario, as Lyell describes from 
the information of the late Mr. Roy, who had 


carefully investigated the subject, very visible 
remains of many terraces which had consecu- 
tively been their boundaries. 

It is evident to observers who have recorded 
facts respecting the lakes, that but a small 
amount of vapour water is deposited by north- 
easterly winds from the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 
the great estuary of that river, of which the 
lakes are only enlargements, as the wind from 
that region carries the cloud-masses from 
the lakes themselves direct to the valley of 
the Mississippi. For it meets with no obstacle 
from high lands on the western littorale, which 
is low. A north-east gale continues usually 
from three to six days, and generally without 
much rain ; but all the other winds from south 
to westerly afford a plentiful svpply of mois- 
ture. Thus a shift of wind from north-east to 
north and to north-west perhaps brings back 
the vapour of the great valley of the gulf, re- 
duced in temperature by the chilly air of the 
north and west. If then an easterly gale 
continues for an unusual time» the basin of the 
Canadian lakes is robbed of much of its 


water, which passes to the riyers of the west, 
and is lost in the gulf of Mexico, or in the 
forest lakes of the wild West. 

Perhaps, therefore, whenever a • cycle oc- 
curs in which north-east winds prevail during 
a year or a series of years, the lakes lose 
their level, for, their direction being north- 
east and south-west, such is the usual current 
of the air; and therefore either north-east 
or south-vresterly winds are the usual ones 
which pass over their surface. 

The parts of the great inland navigation 
which suffer most in these periodical de-^ 
pressions are the St. Clair River and the 
shallow parts of those extensions of the St. 
Lawrence called Lakes St. Francis and St. 
Peter, which in the course of time will cause, 
and indeed in the latter already do cause, some 
trouble and some anxiety« 

The north winds, keen [and -cold, do not 
deposit much in the valley of the lakes, 
whose southern borders are usually too low 
also to prevent the passage of rain-bearing 


From that portion of the dividing ridge 
between the valleys of the St. Lawrenoe and 
Mississippi, only seven mUes from Lake Erie. 
says an American writer, there is to Fort 
Wayne, at the head of the Maumee river, one 
hundred miles from the same lake, a gradual 
subsidence of the land from 700 to less than 
SOO feet. 

From Fort Wayne westward this dividing 
ridge rises only one hundred and fifty feet, 
and then giaduaUy subsides to the neigh- 
bourhood of the south-west of I^ke Michi- 
gan, where it is but some twenty feet above 
the level of that water. 

The basin of the Mississippi, including its 
great tributary streams, receives therefore a 
very great portion of the falling vapour, from 
all the winds blowing from north to north- 

The same reasoner agrees with the views 
which I have expressed respecting the proba- 
bility of the supply to raise the level, which 
must be the great feeder derived from the 
south and south-westward invariably rainy 


winds, when of long continuance, in the basia 
of the St. Lawrence, and generated by the 
gulf stream in its gyration through the Mexi- 
can Bay, being heaped up from the trade 
wind which causes the oceanic current, and 
forces its heated atmosphere north and north- 
east, by the rebound which it takes from the 
vast Cordilleras of Anahuac and Panama ; thus 
depositing its cooling showers on the chain of 
the fresh water seas of Canada, condensed as 
they are by the natural air-currents from the 
icy regions of the western Andes of Oregon, 
and the cold breezes from the still more selid 
countries of die north-west. 

The American topographical engineers, as 
well as our own civil engineers andsavans, 
have accurately measured tiie heights and 
levels of the lakes, which I have already 
given ; but one very curious fact remains to 
be noticed, and will prove that it is by no 
means a visionary idea that, from the great 
island of Cuba, which must be an English 
outpost, if much further annexation occurs, 
voyages will be . made to bring the produce 


of the West Indies and Spanish America into 
the heart of the United States and Canada by 
the Mississippi and the rivers flowing into it, 
and by the great lakes ; so that a vessel, 
loading at Cuba, might perform a circuit 
inland for many thousand miles, and return 
to her port via Quebec, 

From the Gulf of Mexico to the lowest 
summits of the ridge separating the basin of 
the Mississippi from that of the St. Lawrence 
or great lakes, the rise does not exceed six 
hundred feet, and the graduation of the land 
has an average of not more than six inches to 
a mile in an almost continuous inclined 
plane of six thousand miles. The Americans 
have not lost sight of this natural assistance 
to form a communication between the lakes 
and the Mississippi. 

My attention has been drawn to the sub- 
sidence of the waters of the lakes of Canada 
by the unusual lowness of Ontario, on the banks 
of which I lived last year, and by reading 
the statement of the American writer above 
quoted, as well as by the fact that in the Travels 



of Carver, one of the first English uavigatoiB on 
these mediterraneans, who states that a small 
ship of forty tons, in saiUng from the head of 
Lake Michigan to Detroit, was nnable to pass 
over the St. Clair flats for want of water, 
and that the usual way of passing them eighty 
years ago was in small boats. What a use- 
ful thing it would have been, if any scientific 
navigators or resident observers had rois- 
tered the rise and fall of the lakes in the years 
since Upper Canada came into our possession ! 
An old naval officer told me that it was really 
periodical ; and it occurred usually, that the 
greatest depression and elevation had inter- 
vals of seven years. Lake Erie is evidently 
becoming more shallow constantly, but not 
to any great or alarming d^ree ; and shoals 
form, even in the splendid roadstead of Kings- 
ton, within the memory of young inhabitants. 
An American revenue vessel, pierced for, I 
believe, twenty-four guns, and carrying an 
enormous Paixhan, grounded in the autumn 
of last year on a shoal in that harbour, which 
was not. known to the oldest pilot. 


By the bye, talking of this yessel, which is 
a steamer built of iron, and fitted with masts 
and sails, the same as any other sea-going 
vessel, can it be requisite, in order to protect 
a commerce which she cannot control be- 
yond the line drawn through the centre of the 
lakes, to have such a vessel for revenue pur* 
poses ? or is she not a regular man-of-war, 
ready to throw her shells into Kingston, if 
ever it should be required ? At least, such 
is the opinion which the good folks of that 
town entertained when they saw the beautiful 
craft enter their harbour. 

The worst, however, of these iron boats is 
that two can play at shelling and long shots ; 
and gunnery-practice is now brought to such 
perfection, that an iron steamer might very 
possibly soon get the worst of it from a 
heavy battery on the level of the sea ; for a 
single accident to the machinery, protected 
as it is in that vessel, would, if there was 
no wind, put her entirely at the mercy of the 
gunners. The old wooden walls, after all, 
are better adapted to attack a fortress, as 



they can stand a good deal of hammering 
from both shot and shells. . 

But to revert to matters more germane to 
the lakes. 

Volney, the first expounder of the system 
of the warm wind of the south supplying the 
great lakes, has received ample corroboration 
of his data from observation. The fact that 
the deflection of the great trade-wind from 
the west to a northern direction by the 
Mexican Andes Popocatepetl, Istaccihuetl 
Naucampatepetl, &c., whose snowy summits 
have a frigid atmosphere of their own, is 
proved by daily experience. 

Whenever southerly winds prevail-r-and, in 
the cycle of the gyration of atmospherical 
currents, this is certain, and wilLbe reduced 
to calculation — the great lakes are filled to 
the edge ; and whenever northern and north- 
easterly winds take their appointed course, 
then these mediterraneans sink, and the valley 
of the Mississippi is tilled to overflowing. 

But the most curious facts are, that the 
different lakes exhibit different phenomena.^ 


The Board of Public Works of Ohio states 
that, in 1837-38, the quantity of water de- 
scending from the atmosphere did not exceed 
one-third of that which was the minimum 
quantity of several preceding years. 

Ontario, from the reports of professional 
persons, has varied not less than eight feet, 
and Erie about five. Huron and Superior 
being comparatively unknown, no data are 
afforded to judge from ; but what vast at- 
mospheric agencies must be at work when 
such wonderful results in the smaller lakes 
have been made evident ! 

People who live at the Niagara Falls, and 
I agree with them in observations extending 
over a period since 1826, believe that these 
Falls have receded considerably; and, al- 
though I do not enter into the mathematical 
analysis of modern geologists respecting them, 
as to their constant retrocession, believing 
that earthquake split open the present chan- 
nel, yet I have no doubt that the level of Lake 
Erie is considerably affected by the diminu- 
tion of the yielding shaly rocks of their foun- 
dation. Earthquake, and not retrocession. 


appears to me, who have had the singular 
advantage, as a European, of very long resi- 
dence, to have been the cause of that great 
chasm which now forms the bed of the 
Niagara, from the Table Rock to Queenston, 
in short, a rending or separating of the rocks 
rather than a wearing ; and this is corrobo- 
rated by the many vestiges of great cataracts 
which now exist near the Short Hills, the 
Mghest summit of the Niagara frontier, be- 
tween Lakes Erie and Ontario, as well as by 
the great natural ravine of St. David's. But 
this is a subject too deep &r oiir fseBBtA |mr- 
pose, and so we shall continue to treat of the 
Great Lakes in another point of view. 

Chemically considered, these lakes possess 
peculiar properties, according to their boun- 
daries. Superior is too little known to speak 
of with certainty — Huron not much better — 
but Erie, and particularly Ontario, have been 
well investigated. The waters of these are 
pure, and impregnated chiefly with aluminous 
and calcareous matter, giving to the St. Law- 
rence river a fresh and admirable element 
and aliment. 


The St. Lawrence is of a fine cerulean hue, 
but, like its parent waters of Erie and On- 
tario, rapidly deposits lime and alumine, so 
that the boilers of steam-vessels, and e^r«n 
teakettles, soon become furred and incmsted. 
The specific gravity of the St. Lawrence 
water above Montreal is about 1*00088, at 
the temperature of 66*', the air being then 
82"" of Fahrenheit. It contains the chlorides, 
sulphates, and carbonates, whose bases are 
lime and magnesia, particularly and largely 
those of lime, which accounts for the rapid 
depositions when the water is heated. 

A very accurate analysis gives, at Montreal, 
in July, atmospheric air in solution or ad- 
mixture 446 per cent ; for a quart of this 
water, 57 inches cubic measure, evaporated 
to dryness, left 2.87 solid residue. 

Sulphate of magnesia 0*62 

Chloride of calcium • 0*38 

Carbonate of magnesia 0*27 

Carbonate of lime . 1*29 

Silica 0*31 



The waters of the Ottawa, flowing through 
an anexplored country, are of a brown or dark 
colour. Their specific gravity is only (com- 
pared to distilled water) as 1*0024 at 66% 
the temperature of the air in July being 8Z^. 

The 57 cubic inches of this water gave 

0*99 sulphate of magnesia. 
0*60 chloride of lime. 
1*07 carbonate of magnesia. 
0*17 carbonate of lime. 
0*3^1 silica. 


The diflference of the colours of these 
waters is so great, that a perfect line of dis- 
tinction 18 drawn where they cross each other ; 
and there can be no doubt that it is caused 
by the reflection of the rays ot light from the 
impregnation of different saline quantities. 

Thus as, in the old world, the waters of the 
Shannon are brown, and Ireland, speaking 
generally, as Kohl says, is a " brown " 
country ;^ so, in Upper Canada, St. Lawrence 

^ Canada is a blue country; for, a very short distance 
from the observer, the atmosphere tinges everything blue ; 
and the waters are chiefly of that colour, the sky intensely 


and tile lakes are blue and green ; and in 
Lower Canada, St. Lawrence and the Ottawa 
are brown of various shades, a very slight 
alteration of the chemical components reflect- 
ing rays of colour as forcibly and perceptibly 
as, in like manner, a very slight change of 
component parts develops sugar and saw- 
dust. Nature, in short, is very simple in all 
her operations. 

Before we proceed to the lower extremity 
of these wonderful sheets of water again, let 
us just for a moment glance at what is about 
to be achieved upon their surfaces, and place 
the Sault of St. Marie or St. Mary's Rapids, 
which separate Superior from Huron, before 
an Englishman's eyes. There at present 
nothing is talked of but copper mines and 
silver or argentiferous copper ores. 

The Falls of St. Mary are only rapids of 
no very formidable character, the exit of 
Lake Superior into Lake Huron. Fifteen 
miles from the end of the Great Lake, as 
Superior is called, are the American village 
of St. Mary and the British one of the same 


name, on the opposite bank of the River St. 

The Americans have so far strengthened 
their position, that there is a sort of fort, 
called Fort Brady, with two companies of 
regulars; and in and about the village are 
scattered a thousand people of every possible 
colour and origin, a great portion being, of 
course, half-breeds and Indians. The Ameri- 
can Fur- Company has also a post at this 
place, one of the very few remaining ; for the 
fur trade in these regions is rapidly declining 
by the extirpation of the animals which sus- 
tained it. 

The American government have projected 
a ship canal to avoid these rapids ; and, if that 
is completed, a vast trade will soon grow np. 

About a mile above the village is the land- 
ing-place from Lake Superior, at the head of 
the rapids ; there the strait is broad and deep ; 
but, until steamers are built, sailing vessels 
suffer the disadvantage of being moveable out 
of the harbour by an east wind only, and this 
wind does not blow there oftener than once a 


month. It is probable that a proper harbour 
will be constructed at the foot of the lake, 
fifteen miles above. 

These rapids have derived their French 
name Sault from their rushing and leaping 
motion ; but they are very insignificant when 
compared to the Longue Sault on the St. 
Lawrence, as the inhabitants cross them in 

I cannot describe them more minutely than 
Mrs. Jameson has done in her ^^ Summer 
Rambles.'" She crossed them, and must have 
experienced some trepidation^ for it requires 
a skilful voyageur to steer the canoe ; and it 
is surprising with what dexterity the Indian 
will shoot down them as swiftly as the water 
can carry his fragile vessel. The Indians, 
however, consider such feats much in the 
same light as a person fond of boating would 
think of pulling a pair of oars, or sculling 
himself across the current of a rivulet. I was 
once subjected to a rather awkward exem- 
plification of this fact. Being on a hurried 
journey, and expecting to be frozen in, as it is 


called, before I could terminate it, I hired an 
Indian and his little canoe, just big enough to 
hold us both, and pushed through by- wajs in the 
forest streams and porta^ges. We were pad- 
dling merrily along a pretty fair stream, which 
ran fast, but appeared to reach many miles 
ahead of us ; when, all of a sudden, my guide 
said, " Sit fast." I perceived that the water 
was moving much more rapidly than it had 
hitherto done, and that the Indian had 
wedged himself in the stern, and was steering 
only with the paddle. We swept along merrily 
for a mile, till " The White Horses," as the 
breakers are called, began to bob their heads 
and manes. ^^ Hold fast !" ejaculated the 
Red Man. I laid hold of both edges of the 
canoe, firm as a rock, and in a moment the 
horrid sound of bursting, bubbling, rushing 
waters was in mine ears; foam and spray 
shut out every thing; and away we went, 
down, down, down, on, on, on, as swift as 
thought, until, all of a sudden, the little 
buoyant piece of birch-bark floated like a 
swan upon the bosom of the tranquil waters, 


a mile beyond the Fall, for such indeed it 
might be called, the absolute difference of 
level haying been twelve feet. 

When at ease again, I looked at the imper- 
turbable savage and said, " What made you 
take the Fall ? was not the detour passable ?" 
— " Yes, suppose it was ! Fall better !" — 
" But is it very dangerous ?" — ^Yes, suppose, 
sometime !" — " Any canoes ever lost there ?" 
— " Yes, sometime ; one two, tree days ago, 
there !" pointing to a large rock in the mid- 
dle of the narrowest part above our heads. — 
" Did you come down there ?" — " Yes, sup- 
pose, did ! 

Then, thought I to myself, I shall not trust 
my body to your guidance in future without 
knowing something of the route beforehand ; 
but I afterwards got accustomed to these 
taciturn sons of the forest. 

The Falls of St. Marie are celebrated as a 
fishing place ; and the white fish caught there 
are reckoned superior to those taken in any 
other part of Lake Huron. The fishery is 
picturesque enough, and is carried on in 

uuH«. uiu :" 



canoes, manned nsually by two Indians or 
half-breeds, who paddle up the rapids as 
far as practicable. The one in the bow has 
a scoop-net, which he dips, as soon as one of 
these glittering fish is obserred, and lands him 
into the canoe. Incredible numbers of them 
are taken in this simple manner ; but it re- 
quires the canoemanship and the eye of an 

The French still show their national cha- 
racteristics in this remote place. They first 
settled here before the year 1 72 1 , as Charlevoix 
states ; and, in 176S,Henry, a trader on Lake 
Huron, found them established in a stockaded 
fort, under an officer of the French army. 
The Jesuits visited Lake Superior as early as 
1600 ; and in 1634 they had a rude chapel, 
the first log hut built so far from civilization, 
in this wilderness. At present, the population ' 
are French, Upper Canadians, English, Scotch, 
Yankees, Indians, half-breeds. 

The climate is healthy, very cold in winter, 
with a short but very warm summer, and 
always a pure air. Here the Aurora Borealis 


is seen in its utmost glory. In summer 
there is scarcely any night ; for the twilight 
lasts until eleven o'clock, and the tokens of 
the returning sun are visible two hours after- 

The extremes of civilized and savage life 
meet at St. Mary's ; for here live the edu- 
cated European or American, and the pure 
heathen Red Man; here steamboats and 
the birch canoe float side by side; and 
here all-powerful Commerce is already re- 
commencing a deadly rivalry between the 
Briton and the American, not for furs and 
peltry, as in days gone by, but for copper and 
for metals ; and here a new world is about to 
be opened, and that too very speedily. 

Here are Indian agents and missionaries, 
with schools, both the English and the 
Uiiited States' government considering the 
entrance to the Red Man's country, whose 
gates are so narrow and still closed up, to be 
of very great importance, both in a commer- 
cial and a political point of view; but it is 
notorious that, after the French Canadians, . 


the Red Man prefers his Great Mother beyond 
the Great Lake and her subjects to the Presi- 
dent and the people, who are rather too near 
neighbours to be pleasant, and who have 
somewhat tinceremoniously considered the 
natives of the soil as so many obstacles to 
their aggrandizement. 

I shall end this sketch of the lakes, by a 
few observations upon the magnetic pheno- 
mena regarding them, and respecting the 
variation of the pompass. , 

Fort Erie, near the eastern termination of 
Lake Erie, and close to the Niagara river, 
presents the line of no variation ; whilst at 
the town of Niagara, on the south-west end 
of Lake Ontario, not more than thirty-six 
miles from Fort Erie, the variation in 1832 
was 1° 20' east. 

The line of no variation is marked distinctly 
on the best maps of Canada, by the division 
line between the townships of Stamford and 
Niagara, seven miles north of Niagara. 

At Toronto in 43** 39' north latitude, and 
78** 4" west longitude, twenty-four miles 


north-east of Niagara, the yariation in 1833 
was more than 2° easterly. 

The shore of Lake Huron it Nottawas- 
saga Bay, forty miles north-west of Toronto, 
is again the line of no yariation. 

Thus a magnetic meridian lies between 
Fort Erie and Nottawassaga. 

A magnetic obseryatory is established by 
the Board of Ordnance at Toronto^ near the 
Uniyersity, and placed in charge of two 
young officers of artillery, which says a good 
deal for the scientific acquirements of that 
corps. I shall perhaps hereafter adyert to 
this subject more at large, as the yolcanic 
rocks haye much to do with the needle in 
Canada West. 

END OF yoL. I. 

VOL. I. P 


Frederick Shoberl, Junior. Printer to HU Royal Highneet Prince Albert. 
51, Rupert Street, Haymarket. London.